By Marwa Mafrah
Manufacturers in industrial zones suffering from power cuts are requesting that the government provide them the same exclusion from these cuts as El-Mahalla El-Kubra.
Hassan Balha, a member of the El-Mahalla El-Kubra Investors Association, said that the Prime Minister’s decision to exclude this area from the load-lifting map was inevitable, given that workers and employers there were threatening to protest because their factories stopped work completely since the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.
He added that for the past three days there have been no power cuts in El-Mahalla El-Kubra, which experienced power losses lasting up to 12 hours before Mehleb announced his decision to exclude it from cuts, and that he hopes for the situation to remain as it is now.
He explained that El-Mahalla El-Kubra is a vital industrial zone with thousands of factories which has suffered losses and has lost more than 30% of its production capacity due to the energy crisis.
He pointed out that factories that export to international markets are more affected by the outages, as a result of their commitment to supply materials and products on specific dates. Any delay in delivery results in fines or threats to cancel the order, according to Balha.
Abu Al-Alaa Al-Naga, vice president of the 10th of Ramadan Investors Association, condemned the decision to exclude all industrial areas from the decision.
He added the power should be cut more for condominiums, clubs and tourist resorts rather than at factories and industrial areas where the production process is being disrupted.
He stated that no one notifies the factories before the power cuts are about to begin, which results in heavy consumption losses worth millions of Egyptian pounds at all factories, especially iron and ceramic factories which lose important production materials and equipment in the power cuts.
Osama El-Tabi, head of the Investors Association of Damietta, has stated that these outages are very irritating given that there are often four outages daily.
He added that the most affected are owners of the more than 100,000 workshops in the area, who have experienced losses and debts due to this crisis. Many of them have laid off workers to overcome the situation and rationalize their expenditure.
He requested that at least small workshops “be given the same privilege” as El-Mahalla El-Kubra, if not completely than at least during the day, so they do not experience power cuts for a short period of time and are able to continue their work.