CAIRO: Egypt has named Elsewedy Electric, the Arab world’s biggest listed cable maker, as winner of a tender to build six wind power stations, the company said, as the country battles a severe energy shortage.
The issue of power supply is important in Egypt and a potential test of the government’s competence as it attempts to recover from years of political upheaval.
Egypt relies heavily on gas to generate power for households and industry and near-daily power cuts this year emphasised the extent of an energy crunch, which is unlikely to be alleviated soon by the project which as yet has no expected finish date.
The government has said it would cut its huge energy subsidies programme and support renewables in the fiscal year that started this week, but has given no details.
Elsewedy said the tender for the wind power stations on the Red Sea coast with a capacity of around 100 megawatts (MW) each would involve it building, owning and operating them, as well as selling the power they produce for 25 years.
A final contract had yet to be agreed on, the company said. It gave no details on how much the project would cost and could not immediately be reached for comment.
Egypt’s new President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in the run-up to his election in May that Egypt can currently produce around 30,000MW and the electricity ministry has said peak consumption stands at 28,000MW, but some experts have disputed these figures, saying the grid is weaker.