Today, 24 July 2018, President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated by video conference eight mega power plants.
Three of the power plants were made by Siemens, and use a combined-cycle system. These are in the New Administrative Capital some 50km east of Cairo, Beni Sweif some 100km south of Cairo, and Burullos in the north Nile Delta.
The new power plants will produce 14.4 gigawatts, boosting Egypt’s power generation by 50 percent.
The fourth power plant inaugurated by President Sisi is Gabal al-Zait wind farm which is, according to the Egyptian presidency, the largest in the world.
Launched in 2015 in the Red Sea governorate, the Gabal El-Zeit wind farm will have a total of 300 wind turbines with an overall capacity of 580 megawatts.
The fifth power plant, a gas fired system, was inaugurated in the governorate of Ismailiya by the Suez Canal. The sixth was west of Maghagha in Minya, some 250km south of Cairo; and the seventh was a transformer plant in Wadi al-Natroun in the western desert. Last was in Egypt’s southernmost region of Aswan, the Benban transformer plant.
Attending the inauguration ceremony with President Sisi were Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli, Electricity Minister Muhammad Shaker, and Defense Minister Muhammad Zaki. In each governorate where the plants are located, the respective governors opened the plants.
Chairman of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) Muhammad Erfan said that Egypt, as it completes a big part of its ambitious plan to build a strong energy infrastructure, is working to achieve sustainable development and reach comprehensive solutions to one of its most significant and long-enduring problems: the shortage of electricity.
About 25,000 megawatts of electricity have been added to the unified national grid in the period between July 2014 and June 2018, Erfan said. This, he added, has helped achieve a 25 per cent rise in power capacity.
Mr Erfan talked of Egypt’s strategic plan to expand the use of new and renewable energy to reach 20 per cent of the total energy produced by 2022, and 42 per cent by 2025.
Part of the plan is also meant to upgrade capacities of the combined-cycle power stations from 36.5 per cent to 55.8 per cent, he said. Nuclear energy and coal have been introduced as alternative sources to thermal energy.
Egypt has also been working to develop its electricity distribution networks to cope with increased loads, the ACA chairman said, noting that this is estimated to cost some EGP22.5 billion until 2019.
Mr Erfan said that coordination is underway with the World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to implement a project to improve governance and restructuring.
This, he noted, has pushed up Egypt’s position on the “Getting Electricity” index of the WB’s Doing Business report from 145 to 89.
Already 14 mega projects have been completed at a total cost of 155 billion pounds, Erfan said. He also said that state-of-the-art technology is being used in the new plants to run turbines and limit harmful emissions, while reducing annual fuel consumption by about one billion dollars.
For his part, Electricity Minister Muhammad Shaker said that other mega projects will be going into operation in the period from 2022-2027.
Under the five-year plan, the Dabaa nuclear plant will have the first reactor by 2026, he said, noting that the ministry plans to boost production capacity of new and renewable energy.
He said Egypt has capabilities that qualify it to produce 90,000 megawatts of renewable energy, noting that this is one of the main goals of the electricity sector.
Mr Shaker added that the ministry is taking great strides with regard to accomplishing the nuclear power plant which was given the go ahead in December by President Sisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
As for using clean coal in generating electricity, he said China will set up a 6,000-megawatt clean coal power plant in the Red Sea port of Hamrawein.
The EGP4.4 billion plant will be established in six years, he added.
The electricity minister said Egypt seeks to up the total combined capacity of the national grid by 20 percent by 2022.
He expounded that the combined capacity of solar energy is estimated at about 130 megawatts, referring to Kuraimat concentrating solar power stations as one of the contributors.
He noted that Benban power plant will be the largest solar station in the world and will create about 10,000 jobs.
The 37 square kilometer plant will be finalised by mid 2019, he said.
Mr Shaker noted that the first and second wind farms in Gabal el Zeit, Red Sea governorate, are deemed the largest in the Middle East, adding that the third Gabal el Zeit farm will be completed before the end of 2018.
As for hydropower, The Minister said the total national hydropower capacity stood at about 2832 megawatts with the High Dam alone producing 2100 megawatts.
He said the ministry is cooperating with Siemens to generate electricity from the Nile water.
He noted that the ministry has for the first time in history cooperated with the German company in examining the electricity network and laying down plans until 2025.
Mr Shaker added that the ministry is working on boosting the electricity transmission networks from 220,000 volts to 500,000 volts in addition to linking power stations.
Minister Shaker said Egypt is cooperating with Chinese companies to overcome high voltage problems, noting that a first memo of understanding was signed with the State Grid Corporation of China during president Sisi’s visit to China in 2014.
The Chinese company will implement the contract signed with it by the end of 2018.
Mr Shaker said Egypt had 18 transformer stations at 500 kilovolts until 2014, adding that 11 new transformer stations will be finalized by the first quarter of 2019.
He added that nine stations will be put out to tender.
He said a national control center will be established in the New Administrative Capital soon.
He also said Egypt is a center for power exchange, referring to potential power linkage projects with Saudi Arabia and Sudan, and added that a deal on a power linkage project with Greece will be signed in November, noting that the feasibility study has been completed.
24 July 2018