2 January 2013 – At the end of December 2012 some 15 power stations across Egypt were forced to halt generation due to shortages of diesel and natural gas.
"The fuel ran dry, leading to the reduction of some 3,000 MW of electricity capacity for the first time ever," Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) said, as reported by Al-Ahram daily newspaper.
Fuel shortages in power plants led to hours-long blackouts in several governorates on Friday the 28th of December, including Cairo, Suez, Beheira and Alexandria.
In December petroleum minister Osama Kamal said that Egypt had planned to issue a tender to import gas within three to four weeks. Shipments could start in the Egyptian summer of 2013 to help meet growing demand for the fuel.
Egypt, itself a gas producer and exporter, said in October it had agreed to import gas from Algeria and was in talks with Qatar over a similar deal. Egypt witnessed several power failures during its most recent summer due to shortage of fuel supply and the government has insisted that the problem would not occur in the winter because of less electricity consumption.
In August 2012, the Egyptian government announced that a new power station at Damietta some 300 kilometres north of Cairo and another at Abu Kier in the Alexandria governorate had begun operations with a view to meeting rising domestic energy demand. The two stations generate a combined 1,800 MW.