2007-12 plan calls for LE 46 billion in investments
CAIRO: Four power stations with an estimated output of 1,000 megawatts will join the national electricity grid by the end of 2007, the Ministry of Electricity (MOE) announced Monday. The units will be added to plants in North Cairo, Kremat and Tulkha, completing the ministry s five-year plan, begun in 2002, to add 4,500 megawatts to the country s output. The 2007-2012 plan calls for adding another 7,000 megawatts with investments of LE 36 billion. Mohamed Awad, Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EHC) president said two natural gas (LNG)-powered stations, with 500 megawatts in combined output, will begin operation at the Kremat 2 Plant in February. Another 250 megawatt, LNG-powered station will join the North Cairo Plant in October. And in December, a 250 megawatt, steam-powered station will join the Tulkha Plant. The ministry s announcement comes in the midst of alarm bells sounded by the government in late 2006 regarding the country s increased power consumption and projected rise in demand due to hit 7 percent in 2007. Talk of turning to nuclear energy as a cheap and sustainable source of energy began in the second half of last year but has since been dampened by projected high start-up costs for the program. In December, The European Investment Bank signed an agreement with MOE for a ?260 million (LE 2 billion) loan, in line with the European Union s Neighborhood Policy, to help finance the construction of two power stations at Al Atf and Sidi Krir. The stations will produce a combined 1,500 megawatts of power. The project, estimated to cost LE 5 billion, is part of MOE s five year plan to begin in 2007. In addition to the LE 36 billion committed to station construction and plant upgrades, Awad says another LE 10 billion has been budgeted for distribution.