Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity has awarded Germany’s Siemens an eight-year contract for an undisclosed sum to operate and maintain three 4.8GW combined cycle gas-fired power plants – at Beni Suef, Burullus and the New Capital – which were built by local firms incorporating Siemens turbines and generators. The plants were built by local contractors Orascom and Elsewedy and their combined 14.4GW of capacity takes Egypt’s installed generating capacity to almost 50GW. This is comfortably higher than Egypt’s peak load, which has only recently exceeded 30GW, giving EEHC the option to shut down aging and inefficient plants. Egypt’s gas production resurgence is enabling Cairo’s planners to look beyond the power sector’s need for gas fuel (MEES, 31 August).