CAIRO: Egypt needs $12 billion to overcome the electricity crisis within the coming five years according to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in a televised speech given to the nation Saturday over the mass blackout that hit Egypt Thursday.
Egypt was hit by a wide-reaching power outage on Thursday, causing disruptions in Metro train service, forcing a number of television channels to stop broadcasting and shutting down at least six water treatment plants. Investigations are being conducted to identify the cause or causes of the blackout.
“Electricity is one of the State’s utilities that suffers from problems not solved over the past years,” Sisi said, noting that Egypt needs 130 billion EGP ($18.17 billion) immediately to face the crisis and $12 billion over five years to overcome it, as Egypt needs to provide 12,000 megawatts in this period.
Sisi said the people will be updated on the reasons behind the power outage once investigations are finished.
“Each power plant needs fuel with the cost of $700 million… in these two years we need 2,500 megawatts with the cost of $2.5 billion,” Sisi continued.
Sisi said the sanitation utility, like the power utility, suffers from neglect and that 4,500 villages and more than 40,000 rural centers nationwide suffer from poor sanitation, as only 20 percent of them have sanitation at all.
Regarding Egypt’s public budget, Sisi said it was divided into four parts: one concerns the deficit, the second for paying interest on debt, the third for subsidization and the last for infrastructure.
Egypt lifted an additional subsidization on fuel prices in July.