Mobilizing foreign finance resources to refurbish power plants
Egypt, Economics, 6/29/2004
Funding new power plants and changing electricity supply rates via establishing new generating stations is a main target of the government's strategy to meet Egypt's long-term electricity demands.
This besides diversifying energy supply resources and increasing Egypt's grid efficiency in a bid to realize greater stability and ensure consumer access to energy services.
To achieve this goal, the OPEC Fund for International Development offered an easy-term loan worth $ 20 million to finance the second stage of the North Cairo Electricity Network whose total cost is estimated at L.E. 3.6 billion.
The loan will be repaid after a grace period of five years and over 12 years.
The first stage of the project started its activities in 2002.
The second stage of the project will add 750 megawatts for the station's total capacity and will be fully operational by 2007.
North Cairo Electricity Grid that has been chosen for re-commission possesses a number of advantages, such as its central location that will reduce the transmission losses, close proximity to fuel sources, plentiful water supply for cooling from the nearby Ismailia Canal as well as the ability to be easily connected to Egypt's National Unified Power Grid and sub- stations.
According to Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younis, the Ministry has signed two agreements with American and Italian companies to supply the project with gas generator units worth $ 100 million.
Within the same context, the Ministry of Energy and Electricity and the German government concluded two agreements by which the latter will finance the establishment of two giant generating stations from solar energy and wind.
The first agreement included promoting Koraymat generating station via solar, while the second will enhance the electricity resources that cover the Red Sea governorates.
The German side has contributed in establishing several major generating stations. On top comes Za'farana wind generating station, established in cooperation with the German Reconstruction Bank with total capacity of 77 megawatts.
The German bank also shared in financing the replacement and renovation project of the High Dam generating stations as well as setting up the Naga Hamadi hydroelectric stations whose capacity is estimated at 64 megawatts.
A report recently conducted by the New and Renewable Energy Authority unveiled that wind power exploitation in generating electricity lead to a drop in the carbon dioxide emissions by 250,000 tons annually, which conform with the national program to safeguarded the environment from pollution.
The new and renewable energy sources, through exploiting wind energy saved about 420 million kilowatts/h of energy, which needs about 100,000 tons of fuel when generating it via traditional means from thermal energy.
Generated capacities by wind are expected to hit up to 933 million kilowatts by mid of this year (2004) after operating the new wind farms at "Za'farana" along the Red Sea coast where wind velocity hits 10 meters/sec., the highest rates in the world.
As regards the solar energy, the report clarified that the power generation station, which will be set up at "Koraimat" area with a capacity of 127 megawatts, depends in its operation on exploiting solar energy at day time and on natural gas at night.
The Ministers pointed out that the international Environment Utility affiliated to the United States agreed to extend $ 50 million as a grant to contribute in financing the station.
This sum represents the difference in cost between this kind of non-traditional power-generation station and the ones which operated by petroleum fuel.
Meanwhile, the Ministry is currently implementing a project to construct two new transformers stations, west of "Borollos" and "Sidi Salem" with expansions in "Kafr E1- Sheikh" electricity transformers stations to lift its capacities with new additional transformers.
This in addition to establishing networks for the transfer and distribution of the necessary electricity with investments hitting L.E 250 million.
The electricity sector covers about 98 % of all electricity demands governorate-wide.
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