Egypt Needs To Import $1.18 Billion In Fuel To End Power Cuts, Says PM

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Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Tuesday, said that the country needs to import around $1.18 billion worth of mazut fuel oil and natural gas to end persistent power cuts exacerbated by consecutive heat waves.

In a televised address, Madbouly added that it hopes the shipments will arrive in full around the third week of July, by which point the government aims to stop cutting power during the remaining summer months.

It has already started contracting for 300,000 tonnes of mazut worth $180 million to boost its strategic reserves which are expected to arrive early next week.

Egypt’s government had on Monday extended daily power cuts to three hours from two hours previously in response to a surge in domestic electricity consumption during the latest heat wave.

These three-hour cuts will continue until the end of June, before returning to two hours in the first half of July to stop completely for the rest of the summer, Madbouly said on Tuesday.

Egyptian social media has lit up with complaints about the impact of the blackouts, with some saying they have been forced to purchase private power generators.

Since July last year, load shedding linked to falling gas production, rising demand and a shortage of foreign currency has led to scheduled two-hour daily power cuts in most areas.

“We had said that we planned to end load shedding by the end of 2024… we do not have a power generation problem or a network problem, we are unable to provide fuel,” Madbouly said on Tuesday.

“With the increase in consumption related to the major development and population increase, there has been a lot of pressure on our dollar resources,” he added.

He said production in a neighbouring country’s gas field had come to a full halt for 12 hours leading to an interruption in the supply, without naming the country or the gas field.

Egypt’s Abu Qir Fertilizers (ABUK.CA), said on Tuesday three of its plants had halted production because their supply of natural gas was cut.