9 April 2013 – The World Bank has agreed to loan US$505 million to Egypt to establish the 1,950 MW Helwan power station. The minister of electricity and energy Ahmed Imam says that, overall, the funding required for electricity projects in the country up until 2017 is over US$17.6 billion.
Imam also says that Egypt is keen to participate in the Desertec initiative to establish solar energy projects in Africa to produce electricity and export it to Europe. He points out that Egyptian German cooperation is underway to establish a new 200 MW wind farm, a 100 MW generating plant in Kom Ombo and a 20 MW photovoltaic solar plant in the same area.
At the moment Egypt is undergoing power cuts, which the oil ministry says is due to a lack of funds to buy fuel for power stations. Power cuts have become more frequent as the government struggles to meet the country’s fuel supply needs. The problem is expected to worsen as summer approaches and home owners switch on their air conditioning.
Some power stations have compensated by increasing their use of natural gas, the ministry adds, and this had hit gas supplies at other stations. Gas, much of it produced in Egypt, is supplied via a national grid.