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Egypt will not be able to increase its supply of natural gas until the second half of 2014, according to the Ministry of Petroleum, even as gas shortages are already causing blackouts in the North African country.
Power cuts are common in Egypt during the summer, when state utilities are overburdened by the increased use of air conditioning. But this year, the country has been plagued with blackouts in the winter and spring months, a development that coincides with an emerging gas supply deficit.
Government officials have blamed plant maintenance for the power cuts, and expect generation capacity to be adequate to deal with the summer demand surge. It is widely believed that a lack of gas feedstock is causing power plants to lie idle, however, and the problem is likely to be compounded by the lack of additional gas over the next three months. (CONTINUED - 999 WORDS)