CAIRO: Egypt’s electricity-generating capacity will soon get a boost with the establishment of a combined cycle power plant in Nuweiba, the local press reported.
The project will cost a total of LE 4 billion ($714.2 million), financed partly by the Egyptian government and partly by a ?260 million loan granted from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company.
The plant’s total capacity will be 750 MW provided by two gas turbines and generators, according to press reports.
The country’s current electricity generating capacity is around 18.5 GWe, according to the EIB website.
The plant will use natural gas as a main fuel combined with low-emission combustion technology, which should result in a relatively low level of pollution.
Environmental studies of the plant, which spans over 105,000 square meters, have been completed and the project is ready for implementation after approval from the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency.
No date has been set for the start of construction, according to Gamal Ghamry, secretary general of Sinai governorate.
The project is part of an Electricity Generation Expansion Plan, which plans to add some 7,500 MWe of generation capacity to be commissioned during 2007-2012, according to the EIB.
“The project will create some 2,500 job during the construction period and 300 permanent operational jobs, said Ghamry.
With plans to use 50,000 cubic meters of sea water every second, the plant has raised concerns about the impact on sea life in the southern Sinai peninsula. Some researchers said the project will raise the surrounding water temperature by 5°C.
Mohamed Salem, director of natural reserves on North and South Sinai, said “there can be no economic development in Sinai without increase the electricity [capacity]. The environmental impacts of the plant will be well researched and a study conducted by international experts will be presented to the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) for approval.
Demand for electricity in Egypt rose at more than 7 percent annually in the past few years, and demand growth is expected to at 6.2 percent annually from 2007-2012.