By Doaa Farid
The Ministry of Electricity and Energy plans to add 3,400 megawatts (MW) to the national grid to handle the demands of summer 2014, according to a statement published on the ministry’s website on Sunday.
Electricity Minister Ahmed Imam said this new capacity would allow for operations at Banha station with a full capacity of 750 MW and gas units in the North Giza plant with a 1000 MW capacity. Other gas units which will go online include Al-Seyouf, Al-Mahmoudeya, and Damanhour stations.
The statement added that a number of stations would be established and converted to work with “combined cycle system”. This would see the gas units of these stations running before summer 2014, followed by the addition of steam units to be converted into a combined cycle.
Imam pointed out that the “combined cycle system” is among the electricity sector’s fuel-saving strategies, set to produce roughly a third of Egypt’s electricity without using additional fuel.
The minister had in August announced a series of projects, worth EGPbn, to be implemented to face the peak period of summer 2014.
A 2,500 MW deficit caused by a fuel supply shortage, combined with high consumption rates, has led to the return of outages since September. The ministry’s first undersecretary said in September that the shortage would be addressed by reducing loads on power grids.
On 14 October, the ministry announced a regional control centre project to be built in the Nile Delta aimed at safe and economical production of 66 KV of electricity, reduction of pressure and the number of outages.
The project would also assist in locating and tracking the areas experiencing power cuts as well as identifying the causes for the outage.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said in September that it would help finance a power station project in Helwan, set to cost around EGP14bn.