31 July 2013 – Egypt plans to add 6,250 MW of capacity to the national electricity grid, according to the country’s minister of electricity, Ahmad Emam. He says the country plans to solicit bids for new power plants from private sector investors. The new capacity will be added to the country’s national electricity grid under the existing build, own, operate (BOO) scheme, as part of the government’s five-year plan.
According to Asharq Al-Awsat, Emam says that the 6,250 MW is represented in part by 2,250 MW from the Beni Suef electricity generating station using combined-cycle gas generation, and 200 MW from solar power, using photo-voltaic cells. The latter will see the establishment of 10 solar stations each producing 20 MW. Initial discussions on the projects were scheduled to begin in July 2013 with experienced local and foreign investors, who will be expected to provide proof of their expertise.
In May 2012, Egypt’s ministry of electricity released the terms-of-reference handbook for companies which had already qualified to build the Daryut power plant, with a capability of 2,250 MW using a combined-cycle system. Another terms-of-reference handbook was produced for the construction of an electricity power plant, with a capability of 250 MW, using wind energy, in the Gulf of Suez.
The minister says a tender will be issued for the construction of Qena steam power plant to produce 1,300 MW of electricity during August 2013. The applicants will need to design, fund, construct, own and operate the plant, and sell electricity power to the Egyptian Electric Holding Company for 25 years, under an electricity purchase agreement.
These plants are part of the seventh five-year plan, covering the years 2012–2017, which the Egyptian electricity sector endeavours to implement within the framework of an increase in demand for electricity.
Over the last two years, Egypt has witnessed a constant stream of disruptions of its electricity supply because of increased consumption and fuel shortages at power plants, which it is trying to compensate for by building new power plants and increasing the efficiency of existing plants.
In addition, it also hopes to reduce an existing deficit in the Egyptian electricity grid, which stands at between 2,000 and 2,500 MW, through electricity grid interconnection projects with neighbouring states.
In June 2013, the Egyptian government signed a memorandum of understanding on a 3,000 MW electricity grid interconnection project with Saudi Arabia. This will project will cost US$1.6 billion.