Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last week inaugurated the giant Sidi Krir power generating station, with 640-megawatt capacity.
The Minister of Electricity and Energy, Ali El-Seidi, said the Egyptian power network is now the largest in the Middle East and is also extending to the East and the West of the Arab world.
"The grid will likely stretch to Turkey by mid 2001, and then to Spain and Italy to be linked to all of Europe," El- Seidi said.He said the plant is the first to be designed by Egyptian engineers and Egyptian companies manufactured most of its components.
"Over 98 percent of Egyptian homes now have electricity," El- Seidi said. Industrial consumption of electricity in Egypt is estimated at 40 percent of total output, with domestic taking 35.7 percent. (Agriculture, trade and public utilities use the remainder.)
The target production for the year 2005 is 19,000 megawatt, to be increased by 2010 to 24,000 megawatt, according to El-Seidi. "The output has nearly tripled from 4900 megawatt before the installation of Sidi Krir plant to 15150 megawatt now," he said.
"The station cost LE1336 million ($5 billion) and its construction by Egyptian manpower has saved LE414 million," the Minister added. He said there is no problem financing power stations as this sector has a good reputation.
"There is a fully-fledged modernization of services - including service of quality for low-income people, who get fully subsidized power consumption," said El-Seidi.