Upgrades of the Shabab and West Damietta power plants are set to begin mid-February, according to Minister of Energy and Electricity Ahmed Emam. The power plant operations will be converted to function with a combined-cycle system, increasing its energy production capacity to 2,250 megawatts.
The investment cost for converting both power plants will total approximately $900m. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank, the Saudi Fund for development (SFD), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and East Delta Electricity Production Company all contributed to financing the project.
The minister announced on Sunday that the upgrades come within the framework of the ministry’s efforts to implement its energy expansion plan. According to Emam, the expansionary plan aims at increasing the capabilities of electricity production in local power plants, while refraining from reliance on the use of additional fuels.
Additional energy produced will be supplied to the national grid.
The minister stated that comprehensive studies have been conducted on the cooling systems required for the power plants. According to the results, he added, the use of air-cooled condensers is most appropriate both financially and technically.
This is the first time for an air cooled condensing system to be used in any of the sector’s projects.
The Shabab plant is comprised of eight gas units, with a capacity of 125 megawatts each, and four steam units with a total capacity of 500 megawats. The west Damietta plant comprises four gas units, also with a capacity of 125 megawatts each, and steam units with a total capacity of 250 megawatts.
Earlier last month, the minister announced that the cost of constructing the Suez-Samalot 280 km line will total approximately EGP 700m, adding that the funding for the investment will be provided by the World Bank.
The ministerial statement added that a highly experienced international company, which was unidentified, will implement the project.
In addition to the conversion of some of the power plants to the combined-cycle system, the ministry will rely on running the Banha and North Giza stations at full capacity, 750 megawatts and 1,000 megawatts, respectively, in order to cope with the industry’s 2014 energy needs.