Electricity blackouts have decreased this summer compared to previous summers, as the government received fuel supplies for power stations, Ministry of Electricity spokesperson Mohamed Al-Yamani told Daily News Egypt on Monday.

The most recent of the received fuel supplies has been the Ain Sokhna liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment.

The eighth LNG shipment arrived on Saturday in Ain Sokhna Port and was received on a gasification ship from Norway’s Höegh, to be converted to gas and pumped to the national grid.

Al-Yamani said all power stations in Egypt have undergone full maintenance between October 2014 and last May. A quantity of 3,632 MW has been added to the national grid through the implementation of the ministry’s urgent plan to meet the electricity demand, according to Al-Yamani.

Last summer, natural gas shortages at electricity plants had prompted the government to reduce the load on the national grid by cutting off power. The deficit was estimated at approximately 2,500 MW.

To address the issue, the government planned to import additional quantities of natural gas, improve the efficiency of transferring fuel and diesel to stations, and add more stations to the national grid.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said the electricity capacity should be increased by approximately 2,500 MW annually, to produce an extra amount of around 12,500 MW after five years.

Al-Sisi added that Egypt needs $12bn (EGP 85bn) in investments over the next five years to solve the electricity crisis. He also said Egypt needs $700mn per year to provide power stations with the necessary amount of fuel supplies.

Egypt needs EGP 170mn daily and EGP 58bn annually to produce electricity, while in the summer; it needs an additional EGP 60m per day, according to head of the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (Egyptera) Hafez Salmawy.

The Ain Sokhna power station, which operates on natural gas and diesel, is part of the government’s 2012-2017 five-year plan to meet all the electricity needs of different sectors.

Bombings have been a frequent occurrence in different governorates across Egypt since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. However, the explosions have recently began to target power stations. The most recent attack included three bombs that targeted an electricity tower in Aswan, causing a major power outage for several days.

Source: Daily News Egypt