Cairo is lining up loans for power generation projects as it struggles to improve electricity supply security at a time of political turmoil and acute gas shortages. On 29 September the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) signed a $70mn loan agreement with Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy for the Helwan South power plant. The project is expected to cost $2.4bn and the World Bank has approved a $585.4mn load to help fund the development (MEES, 5 July).

The 1.95GW Helwan South plant will be built 100km south of Cairo by state-owned Upper Egypt Electricity Production Company. It will comprise three 650MW gas-fired generating units and will be able to burn heavy fuel oil during gas shortages. Egypt’s generating capacity is 24GW, and the government said in 2010 it needed to add 10.45GW of capacity by 2017. More recently the government has announced plans to develop 1.2GW of renewables capacity, a 1GW nuclear plant and a 3GW link to the Saudi grid. (CONTINUED - 296 WORDS)