Energy ministry aims to curb summer power outages
Egyptian prime minister Sherif Ismail - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO:The electricity crisis is a “complex issue,” resulting from a substantial rise in temperatures, which then lead to the reduction of gas supplies, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Sherif Ismail told Youm7 Monday.

Ismail, however, said the petroleum ministry is working to satisfy the growing power demands of electricity plants, that there is ongoing coordination between the petroleum and finance ministries to provide funding for fuel imports and the petroleum ministry has called for up to $1 billion dollars for purchasing fuel over the summer.

“The petroleum sector is exerting great efforts to increase production, emphasizing that production has slightly increased at this time,” Ismail said. He added that in the last quarter of this year, production will significantly increase to compensate for the natural production decline.

Since the summer of 2012, power outages have become a regular occurrence, with many criticizing the government of former President Mohamed Morsi for a rise in prices and a lack of fuel. However, the current government may soon face its own power crisis as the coming summer will have “one of the worst fuel and energy shortages ever in Egypt,” an official source told Youm7 in February.

The lack of fuel is the main reason behind the power outages, Hafez Salmawy, head of the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency, told The Cairo Post in March.

He also said the ministry would be increasing rates of natural gas production, use of alternative fuels like mazut and solar and the importation of liquefied natural gas.

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