By Mohammed Adel
In response to recent gas shortages and increasing power station consumption, gas holding company EGAS cut 500m cubic feet of gas per day from the industrial sector’s needs, and 120m cubic feet of gas per day from fertiliser factories, which account for 510m cubic feet of gas per day.
EGAS stopped pumping gas to EDCO Company, a subsidiary of British Gas and Gas de France, due to an unexpected increase in electricity plant consumption resulting from high temperatures, officials said.
The contractual share of the EDCO plant is 1.13bn square feet of gas daily; pumping rates have declined since 2011, ultimately reaching approximately 80m square feet. Last year, the government was forced to cut some 300m square feet of gas daily of the total needs of cement factories, estimated to be 410m square feet, according to one EGAS official.
According to one official, Egypt will continue to face blackouts throughout the coming summer for periods no less than two hours daily if the government remains incapable of producing the necessary financial liquidity to import large quantities of fuel oil, gas and diesel.
The length of power outages has recently increased as a result of high temperatures, which cause a decline in electricity station production.
The Ministry of Electricity requested approximately 80m gas metres, 26,000 tonnes of fuel, and 2,000 tonnes of diesel, equivalent to approximately 112m square metres of gas each day; according to the official, this is “not possible”.
The deficit stood at 3,000 megawatts at peak time, necessitating a reduction in electric loads in order to maintain the integrity of the electrical grid. The Ministry of Electricity requested that the domestic sector ration daily consumption during peak hours between 6-11pm.