Over 5000 power thefts seized in 297 campaigns across Egypt
Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The General Administration of Electricity at the Police Authority launched 297 campaigns across Egypt on Thursday, which resulted in seizing more than 5,000 violations of electric current thefts, head of the administration Sami el-Mehy said.

He told Youm7 that the campaigns managed also to seize more than 5,000 other violations for unpaid electricity bills, where they retained about 2,740,364 EGP, out of 60 million EGP that were recalled during March.

Further, he explained that the campaigns records footage and takes pictures of the thefts, and files reports against the violations, which are then submitted to the Electricity Company to decide the penalty and the fines for the violations.

“Many violators exploited the current crisis witnessed in Egypt due to the repeated daily blackouts to steal power currents in violation of the law,” continued Mehy.

Egypt has witnessed repeated power cuts during the last few months, lasting for over an hour in many locations in Egypt.

Further, this summer will witness “one of the worst fuel and energy shortages” in Egypt, given the decline of energy production as consumption rates increase dramatically, a government source told Youm7 in February.

Last week, the Cabinet approved the use of coal as part of the energy system in Egypt, in order to substitute natural gas in running some factories like Cement Factories, and to solve the problem of the frequent blackouts.

The Cabinet approved the use of coal that abides by environmental standards. However the Ministry of Environment views the use of coal in factories as dangerous to the environment, and stated that it requires years to be safely implemented in Egypt.

Meanwhile, Mehy referred to the main reasons behind the blackouts as being due to the lack of fuel to run several power stations, noting that the power thefts by street vendors are not the real cause of the crisis.

Egypt will need 23,000 Megawatt on a daily basis to overcome the repeated blackouts, said Mehy, noting that the current production of electricity is about 20,300 Megawatt.

Additional reporting by Ibrahim Ahmed and Ahmed Marei.

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