Siemens helps to power up Egypt with gas turbines

Egypt is adding massive power generation capacity to the grid with a combination of conventional and renewable energy.

Siemens will supply four gas turbines to the Attaka Power Plant, which will add 650 megawatts to the grid. The plant is located about 150 kilometres east of Cairo, and will provide electricity for more than half a million people.

Siemens did not provide a value for the deal, nor did it say when the project was expected to be commissioned.

“This project is in progress, but on time to be executed according to the fast-track schedule,” said Karim Amin, the senior vice president for power generation at Siemens Middle East.

The German company also recently signed a contract with the East Delta Electricity Production Company to supply, install and commission electrical components at the 650MW Suez Thermal Power Plant. The plant will be commissioned in 2016.

In addition, Abu Dhabi-based Masdar this week inaugurated a 10MW solar power plant in Marsa Matrouh, enough to power about 10,000 homes.

“The plant will save five million litres of diesel fuel and also reduce Egypt’s carbon footprint by more than 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year,” Wam quoted Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, as saying during the inauguration.

Masdar announced in November that it was looking to undertake 2,000MW of wind and solar projects in the North African country, increasing its original plan of only 200MW. Masdar is also working to provide solar power to 61,000 homes throughout Egypt.

As Egypt struggles to regain economic standing from pre-Arab Spring levels, power shortages have been a major obstacle. The country dropped 14 places to 121 out of 144 countries for electricity supply in the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Index 2014-15.

Industries have suffered across the board from local business owners spending more money on diesel generators to continue operations.

Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El Sisi has made energy reform a major priority. On his visit to the UAE in January, he said that the country would roll out an ambitious energy strategy to help meet rising demand.

The strategy could be unveiled at the upcoming “Egypt the Future” investment conference hoping to attract investments from international companies.

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LeAnne Graves

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