CAIRO: Hafez Salmawy, head of the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency, told The Cairo Post on Wednesday that recent power outages are due to a lack of fuel to run electricity-generating stations.
”If the electricity stations get enough energy, the electricity deficit will range between 1,000 and 1,500 megawatts,” he said.
The available capacity of the 52 electricity stations in Egypt amounts to 27,000 megawatts, he said. But the total consumption of citizens even during ration hours are at 28,000 to 28,500 megawatts, Salmawy said.
If the power deficit is rotated along the electricity lines across the country, “the deficit will be imperceptible,” he said, adding that deficits also occur during maintenance work and the stoppage of electricity plants due to accidents.
Maintenance on electricity stations takes place periodically during the eight months of the year that are not the summer season, because of high demands during that period, he added.
The solution to the current power crisis is two-fold, he said. First, providing the needed fuel for electricity-generating stations by producing more quantities and importing more oil freights, he said.
Second, further rationing of consumption by citizens as an urgent step to overcome the current crisis, he said.
Egypt cannot wait for coal to be used in electricity stations as a solution, he added, because that process will not likely occur before 2022.
The country also needs to pump more than $4 billion into outmoded electricity plants, Reuters reported.
Power cuts in Egypt were one of the main problems that led to the eventual push for the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi.