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Egypt is pushing hard to add new generating capacity to prevent a repeat of last year’s severe summer power outages. The plans appear to be working, though keeping the lights on has required the diversion of fuel from key industries.
Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity reported a new record peak daily load on 12 August. State firm EEHC, which controls almost all of the country’s generation capacity provided 29.1GW of electricity that day, which is 5.4% higher than last year’s daily peak load of 27.6GW.
Unlike last year, Egypt’s generating and transmission infrastructure is mainly coping with the extra demand – while there have been some outages, they are not so severe. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health attributes at least 30 deaths to the current heat wave. The electricity ministry says the temperature reached 37°C at the time of the peak load, triggering a surge in demand for air conditioning. The ministries of petroleum and electricity subsequently issued a joint statement, calling for consumers to reduce unnecessary electricity usage at peak load times and to reset their air conditioning systems to above 25°C.
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