Despite overstretched gas supplies, Egypt is adding further large gas-fired plants to its powergen expansion. Plans for a new renewables tender show Cairo is also ‘thinking big’ about solar and wind capacity.Recent power contract awards take Egypt’s total of gas-fired capacity under development to 17.3GW, but 38.3GW of additional capacity in the planning stage reflects a push to diversify electricity sources away from gas.

The new gas plants will be built despite dwindling Egyptian gas production, although supplies are being improved short-term through LNG imports. Assuming all the awarded gas-fired projects will be operating in combined cycle mode, the additional 17.3GW of gas-fired capacity – the expansions of Damietta West and El-Shahab will be heat recovery steam generators – would require almost 2bn cfd of additional gas fuel. Yet Egypt’s gas output fell to a nine-year low of 4.3bn cfd for May, while initial LNG import capacity amounts to just 550mn cfd. (CONTINUED - 667 WORDS)