Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development is loaning Egypt KD55mn ($195mn) to upgrade al-Wadiya power plant at Assiut in Middle Egypt. The 620MW oil-fired plant comprises two units, one commissioned in 1992 and one in 1997. Egypt’s energy ministry says one-quarter of Egypt’s 51 power plants are over 20 years old, and $5bn needs to be spent on upgrading and repairs.

Cairo has secured a number of power sector loans, but the supply/demand balance remains precarious. Egypt’s installed generating capacity was 27GW at end-2013, but daily peak demand exceeds 24GW. There are frequent outages, because generating and transmission capacity is overstretched and because of gas shortages (see p9 and MEES, 4 April). The Ministry of Petroleum has requested $2.5bn to import fuel oil and diesel to cover summer gas shortages. Egypt has lined up a number of loans for power projects. The World Bank is providing $585.4mn and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) $70mn to help fund the $2.4bn, 1.95GW Helwan South plant, which will mainly burn gas but also heavy fuel oil as back-up. Egypt is seeking $190mn from Europe’s EBRD for conversion of the 500MW Damietta West and 1GW El-Shabab open-cycle gas-fired plants into combined-cycle units (MEES, 4 October 2013). (CONTINUED - 280 WORDS)