The Ministry of Electricity plans to add 3,600MW of electrical energy next summer to overcome growing electricity consumption, according to Electricity Minister Mohamed Hamed Shaker.

During a press conference held Tuesday, Shaker said the government signed nine agreements with the Chinese government during President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s visit. The agreements are for the construction of power plants that operate on coal with a 20,000 MW capacity over five years.

The power stations will be constructed on the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, away from residential communities, Shaker said. “We will work to change the energy mix from almost total dependence on fossil fuels to renewable energy generated from the sun and wind as well as coal,” Shaker explained.

Electricity subsidy allocations for the fiscal year (FY) 2014/2015 amount to approximately EGP 27 billion, and the government plans to decrease this figure to EGP 20 billion by FY 2015/2016 according to Shaker.

“We will not take away subsidies for the poor after lifting electricity subsidies, and subsidies will amount to EGP 9 billion,” the minister said. He admitted that if the government did not decrease electricity allocations during FY 2014/2015, they would increase to EGP 38 billion.

The Ministry of Finance trimmed energy and electricity costs in the public budget for FY 2014/2015, aiming to reduce the deficit by 25% by the end of this fiscal year.

Shaker said that the government continuing to sell electricity at 50% of the real price was not sustainable.

The Ministry of Electricity hopes to generate 16,000 MW of extra electricity at power stations over the next five years.

According to the minister, the government is working to introduce 7,000 MW of electric energy during 2015. This comes in addition to distributing 10 million energy-saving light bulbs to consumers and increasing the number of smart metres in place from the current 31 million.

Source: Daily News Egypt