Egypt not facing energy shortage, has sufficient reserves to meet needs: Ministry



Wed, 10 Aug 2022 - 12:21 GMT


Wed, 10 Aug 2022 - 12:21 GMT

Electricity towers - CC via Max Pixel

Electricity towers - CC via Max Pixel

CAIRO – 10 August 2022: The Egyptian Ministry of Electricity has affirmed that Egypt does not face any shortage in energy and has sufficient reserves to meet energy needs.

The ministry’s remarks came after the government has announced a strict plan to rationalize energy consumption, including reducing street lighting and regulating air conditioners use in public buildings.

In remarks to Al-Hayah TV channel, Spokesman for the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy Ayman Hamza said the government’s rationalization plan is aimed at maximizing the economic benefits of the country's natural gas resources.

Hamza urged citizens to carry out routine maintenance for their air-conditioning systems to save energy consumption, adding that the ministry had recently opted for using fuel-efficient units to generate electricity.

He revealed that the State is currently working on expanding the use of locally-produced mazut for energy generation purposes to boost the county's natural gas exports for greater foreign-currency earnings.

The government will start its strict plan next week, according Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said on Tuesday.

In a press conference, Madbouli detailed the rationalization plan, saying that outdoor lighting of government buildings would be closed. Also, the lighting of public squares, streets and main axes will be cut.

He added that shopping malls and public stores would close at 11 PM, according to the summer timing, noting that the temperature of air conditioners at shopping centers would be fixed at 25 degrees or more.

The prime minister underlined that the Ministry of Youth and Sports is coordinating with sporting clubs and federations to determine closing dates and reduce the lighting of stadiums and giant facilities, except for social clubs.

He noted that the Ministries of Electricity and Petroleum are working on a plan to reengineer power stations so that priority is given to stations that consume less natural gas and generate more electricity, such as the three Siemens stations with high loads.

This move could help save the largest amount of natural gas for export amid the rising energy prices, Madbouli said.

He pointed out that the government decided to postpone raising electricity prices for six months until early 2023.

The prime minister said the State targets securing an additional surplus within 15 percent of the volume of natural gas that is directed to power stations, noting that this amount could be exported to earn foreign currency for the country's coffers.

The prime minister urged citizens to rationalize electricity use at their homes to support the government's energy consumption rationalization plan.

Madbouli said the State seeks at the present time to export natural gas, which is considered the most important resource the country owns.

He added that the State directed huge investments into the natural gas sector over the past years to export the largest amount of this natural resource which is one of the main sources of its income, amid the current global energy crisis.

The premier noted that all ministries would be instructed to switch off lights at their buildings after the end of official working hours, except for service buildings.

He announced that as part of measures to rationalize energy consumptions the external lighting of government buildings will be cut and the lighting of public squares, streets and main axes reduced.

Also, he said, stadiums, indoor halls and shopping malls will be asked to close early every night; at 11 p.m. at the most.

He noted that the temperature of air conditioners in major malls and buildings would be fixed at 25 degrees or more.

The prime minister urged citizens to rationalize electricity use at their homes to support the government's energy consumption rationalization plan.

The premier said the Egyptian State is working to increase its hard currency resources, reduce the import bill through relevant recent measures, and benefit from available natural resources such as natural gas, which, he noted, can secure hard currency.

The strategic vision that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi directed the government to adopt nearly four years ago was meant to expand investments in the production and generation of natural gas, most significantly through the Zohr gas field, he added.

Prior to the Zohr field operation, Egypt was importing natural gas to meet its demand, the prime minister said, praising in this regard Sisi’s keenness to operate the project as early as possible.

Madbouli said the government took a decision in October 2021 to supply power plants with mazut instead of natural gas to be used in generating electricity; through cooperation between the Electricity Ministry and the Petroleum Ministry.

This has secured a natural gas surplus of $100-150 million per month, he added.

Madbouli said the Egyptian State is taking several measures to deal with the unprecedented crises facing developed and developing countries, which he said are both suffering from the energy challenge and that of consumption rationalization.

Madbouli added that the state will launch a package of exceptional social measures in late August or early September; in accordance with relevant directives from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to ease the burden on Egyptian citizens.

Measures have been taken to relieve pressure on hard currency resources as a result of the doubling of imported commodity prices, especially petroleum products and basic commodities such as wheat and corn, the prime minister noted.

He added that the state has worked according to a clear plan to increase exports, promote local components and support the tourism sector.

MENA contributed to the reporting.



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