Egypt signed conditional contracts with Chinese electrical engineering companies to build two coal-fired power plants and develop a transmission grid. The agreements are conditional upon the completion of the technical studies, and will be financed by the Export and Import Bank of China (EXIM) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Mohamed El-Yammany, Electricity Ministry spokesman  told Ahram Online.

Dongfang Electric Corporation will build six units producing 660 MW. Construction is divided on two phases, the first of which includes construction of three units, producing a combined total of 1,980 MW, at a cost of $2b.

Another company, Shanghai Electric, is planned to construct four units at a combined capacity of 2,640 MW for a total cost of $2.636, $2.24b of which is the cost of imported components, while the remaining $396 (EGP 3.1b) is for domestic components.

China’s State-Grid Corporation signed a deal with the ministry of electricity as well. The agreement is for a transmission grid at a cost of $650m. The project will link three Siemens power plants that are under construction.

It is important to note that China has one of the world’s most toxic air, which is largely attributed to the use of coal to meet 60% of the country’s energy needs.

The use of coal for power generation was approved by Egypt in 2014 due to the shortage of natural gas, despite controversy about its environmental impacts.