By Mohamed Adel
Egypt’s daily fuel deficit is expected to worsen in Ramadan to 16m sq metres each of gas and electricity if citizens do not ration energy consumption, according to a senior official at the Egyptian Gas Holding Company (EGAS).
The official added that electricity plant needs will also increase to 123m square metres throughout Ramadan.
EGAS will not be able to supply more than 107m metres of gas and the equivalent in electricity daily in light of a dramatic decrease for industrial consumers.
The Ministry of Electricity requested that EGAS add 10m square metres of gas and electricity equivalent to the fuel that it supplies. This would cover the amounts required throughout the month of Ramadan and reduce power outages.
The Ministries of Petroleum and Electricity are currently working together to combat the anticipated increase in consumption throughout the coming days and especially during the month of Ramadan. They are also set to provide fuel to stations to operate at full capacity.
On Tuesday, the deficit for power plants reached 14m square metres and equivalent due to Egypt’s ongoing drop in gas production. It has also been attributed to an inability to meet increasing demands for fuel oil, the official said.
Approximately 75 million square metres of gas and 22,000 tonnes of fuel oil will be supplied to fuel stations this summer, the official said.
The national grid deficit reached 2245 MW Tuesday due to a lack of fuel, and approximately 1900 MW were cut from all household, industrial, and commercial consumers, according to a power utility report.
The National Electricity Control Center anticipates electricity consumption to rise to 25,000 MW and the consumption deficit to increase to 2700 MW if fuel quantities remain as they are, but a fuel shortage will lead to an increase.
The Ministries of Petroleum and Electricity signed a protocol regarding power stations’ needs for gas, fuel oil, and diesel fuel during the month of June for approximately 119 million square metres of gas and equivalent daily in order to produce 25,000 MW.
Power station needs will rise to 123 million metres of gas and equivalent daily during July in order to produce 23,000 MW. Maximum consumption during August will reach 125 million square metres, and the maximum load will be 28,000 MW.
Households consumption accounts for approximately 40% of energy produced, equivalent to about 9600 MW. Around 80% of consumption is wasted on lighting said Mohammed Sobky, head of the Energy Research Center at Cairo University.
The total capacity of Egypt’s power stations amounts to 30,000mw, but they do not produce at full capacity as a result of technical problems, as well as diesel and gas shortages.
Sobky stressed that rationing energy consumption is essential and that Egypt must move toward using new and renewable energy as quickly as possible.
He added that the burden on fuel stations will not be lightened even it citizens ration their electricity consumption, as rising temperatures will decrease station productivity.
Sobky pointed out that mosques will noticeably increase their electricity consumption during Ramadan by increasing lighting and air conditioning usage. As a result, electricity will be overused while Egypt remains in the midst of a production crisis.
Sobky added that the consumers waste electricity during Ramadan by following television serials and programmes during the day, representing a hefty burden on the network.