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Following his meeting with Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, Minister of Electricity Mahmoud Balba said the electricity shortage is expected to fall from 10 to 5 percent in August and to be entirely alleviated in September.
The government has been implementing rolling blackouts to lighten the load on the power grid, saying the demand for electricity has hit unprecedented levels. The resulting power outages have enraged Egyptians across the country.
Balba added that the 640-megawatt capacity Abou Qir power station, and the 500-megawatt capacity West Damietta power station will start operating in August.
The 6th of October power station, which has a capacity of 600 megawatts, came into service in May, he added.
Qandil met with the ministers of electricity, local development, finance and petroleum to discuss ways to ensure a stable supply of electricity across Egypt. During their meeting, the ministers discussed rising electricity loads in the summer of 2012, which led to an unprecedented 10 percent shortage of power
The increase has been blamed on illegal electricity hookups and the excessive use of air conditioning units. Weakening infrastructure and issues surrounding the use of fuel for power stations have are also allegedly responsible for the shortage.
The ministers discussed the availability of fuel for the stations and the financial resources allocated for the purchase the country’s fuel needs.
Meanwhile, the Electricity Ministry has made plans to supply an additional 3,000 megawatts of electricity to the power grid in the summer of 2013 and to revamp existing power stations.
Qandil ordered the formation of a ministerial team to review the power strategy and come up with non-traditional solutions for the generation of electricity from new sources and conservation of electricity, taking into account plans for industrial and economic development.
Their findings will be submitted to the Supreme Energy Council for approval.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm