By Doaa Farid
A 2,500 megawatt (MW) deficit caused by a fuel supply shortage, combined with high consumption, have led to the return of blackouts, according to Aktham Abu El-Ela the first undersecretary of the Ministry of Electricity.
Abu El-Ela said that the ministry will address this shortage by reducing loads on power grids.
An official at the National Control Centre for Electricity told Al-Borsa newspaper that electricity grids require 120m cubic metres of oil, adding that “consumption is still less than expectations, at 27,000 MW, but the lack of completion of the north Giza and Banha stations, with a 1,500 MW capacity affected negatively the available capacity of the national network.”
Abu El-Ela also attributed Egyptians’ complaints about high electricity bills this month to the increase in the consumption without “any rise in value.”
Qatar had announced in June it would grant Egypt five shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to help relieve the latter’s energy strain. The shipments were set to arrive during the summer, amid peaking demand for electricity and energy in the industrial sector. Two shipments have been received by Egypt and concerns have been raised about the remaining three shipments. Qatar amended earlier in August its previous decision to not distribute three remaining LNG shipments to Egypt.
Electricity blackouts had disappeared immediately after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July after repeated cut-offs weeks ahead of the 30 June mass protests. Some experts have attributed this to an increase in the amount of gas pumped to electricity production plants, and bigger supplies being provided by major petroleum-producing countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.