Turn off the lights: Egypt prepares for 25 percent fuel hike this summer

Published April 15th, 2014 - 01:00 GMT

Egypt’s petroleum minister has signed an agreement to provide the country's electricity ministry with up to 125 million cubic metres of energy on a daily basis at peak hours, representing a 25 percent rise from 2013, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported on Sunday.

The two ministers signed a protocol last week specifying the supply of energy to power stations up until September.

Al-Ahram reported that the agreement includes providing power stations with 105 million cubic metres of the low-quality fuel Mazut, natural gas and diesel to produce 23,000 Megawatts (MW) on a daily basis throughout April.

This should gradually increase during the following months to match the rising demand of electricity in the summer, the peak of which would be 125 million cubic metres for the production of 28,000 MW of electricity each day in August.

In 2013, fuel consumption for electricity peaked at 100 cubic metres per day, Aktham Aboul Ella, former electricity ministry spokesperson, told Ahram Online at the time.

Egypt has been experiencing increasing power cuts since summer 2008, which the government attributes to shortages in natural gas.

The country's production of natural gas decreased by 10 percent last January, compared to a year earlier.

The government recently announced that it was preparing to import natural gas beginning in August, as it is finalising a deal to buy a floating unit to re-gas a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) unit based in the Red Sea port of Ain Sokhna.

Electricity consumption in Egypt has jumped by almost 30 percent during the last decade, according to official data.

Egypt was formerly a gas exporter, but production has fallen off in the last three years of political unrest.

A concession given to British Petroleum (BP) in north Alexandria was expected to produce 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day by late 2014, but work was suspended after the 2011 uprising.

© Copyright Al-Ahram Publishing House

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