Egypt to divert gas from factories to power plants
Egypt’s state gas company EGAS will cut back on the amount of gas it supplies to factories to keep electricity plants running instead during the peak summer months, Al-Borsa newspaper reported Wednesday. The move signals that Egypt’s energy woes remain unresolved despite an easing of fuel shortages in the four weeks since Egypt’s military ousted its Islamist President Mohammad Morsi.
The paper quoted an unidentified official at EGAS as saying the company would divert about 3 million cubic meters per day of gas away from cement and fertilizer companies.
Daily consumption by power plants rose to 89 million cubic meters of gas and 17,000 tons of fuel oil from 85 million cubic meters of gas and 15,000 tonnes of fuel oil, he said.
Fuel shortages and power blackouts during the final months of Morsi’s one-year presidency helped galvanize discontent with his rule that ultimately resulted in his downfall and detention.
The scarcity abated in the weeks after the military-installed government took power, leading some analysts to suggest that elements of the Egyptian state had been curtailing deliveries to undermine Morsi’s rule.
Analysts have warned the government could likewise risk discontent if industries are forced to lay off workers as they wind down output.
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