By Mohamed Farag
Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker said Sunday he is working to add new capabilities to the national grid. In his first statement since taking office, Shaker said this would be carried out in cooperation with the private sector, to secure power supply to all citizens.
He explained that the sector aims to reach an electricity capacity of 36,000 MW, to meet the growing demand for electricity.
Shaker added that he will expand the establishment of power plants in cooperation with the private sector, whether local or foreign, in the coming years. This will be undertaken in accordance with the Electricity Act, which aims to stimulate the private sector to invest in the energy field.
A Ministry of Electricity source said Shaker met with sector leaders to follow up on the ongoing projects in the fields of production, transmission and distribution. He added that the minister has also reviewed the latest developments in the Suez steam power plant project, which has a capacity of 650 MW. The project’s capacity will be added to the national grid by April 2016.
The Suez steam power plant has been included in the five-year 2012-2017 plan, that aims to strengthen the national electricity grid. This will ensure it can cope with the steady increase in the demand for electricity, and provide electric power to all areas of development.
The project consists of a steam boiler able to deal with supercritical pressures that use natural gas as a primary source for fuel, and fuel oil as a secondary source. It also includes a steam turbine with capacity of 650 MW, capacitors, generators, and accessories. The plant will be linked to the unified national electricity grid on 500 kV.
Shaker said the project’s implementation would be undertaken through a multiplicity of processes system, where the processes amount to 19 to allow for competition among implementing companies and to reach the best contractual terms. He noted that by signing those two contracts, contracting for all of the project’s operations will be completed.
The investment cost of the project stands at approximately EGP 4.7bn, co-financed by the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, as well as the National Bank of Egypt, and sources at the East Delta Electricity Production Company.