The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) intends to postpone the signing of contracts with the UAE Al Nowais Company for the construction of a coal-fired power plant in the region of Oyoun Moussa indefinitely.
Sources at the ministry of electricity told Daily News Egypt that officials at the UAE company held several meetings with officials from the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) to reach an agreement, but to no avail. It was agreed to postpone the signing of the contracts until the needs are determined according to the state plan until 2030.
The sources pointed out that the surplus of electricity production is the main reason for postponing the signing of the contracts, especially as the reserve of electrical capacity reaches 20,000MW per day and will rise by the end of the year to about 22,000MW after adding the capacities of the Gulf of Suez wind station and the solar projects in Benban.
Another reason is also the difficulty of establishing a special port to receive coal for the project in the region of Oyoun Moussa, as the water there is very shallow, which requires the construction of the port deeper inside the water, which would raise the total cost of the plant.
Talks with the UAE’s Al Nowais started three years ago, and company officials held more than 50 meetings with the EEHC officials to implement a coal-fired power plant in Oyoun Moussa.
The sources pointed out that the studies and documents for the Al-Nowais coal plant project were all transferred to the EETC for review. No new decision has been taken on the projects so far and it will not be signed this year.
“The tariff was agreed to cost 4.01 cents per kW/h, and what remains is reviewing legal matters in the contract, but the process may take more time.”
The sources pointed out that the Belgian consultant ‘Tractebel’ attended all the sessions and discussions, and was briefed on all technical, financial, and legal items of the project after receiving them from Al Nowais officials.
According to the sources, the strategy and energy mix involves the implementation of coal-fired power plants. The ministry is currently in negotiations with Shanghai Electric to implement a station in Hamrawein with a capacity of 6,000MW. The contracts are expected to be completed soon.
A public consultation conference was scheduled to be held in El Qoseir to establish the Hamrawein coal station, but the event was postponed a day before, and no new date has been set until now.
The sources pointed out that the electricity ministry included coal-fired electricity projects within its plans for 2022-2027, and it may only include a phase of the Hamrawein project whose implementation would soon begin.
Furthermore, the sources said that the lack of increased demand for energy will push the electricity company to postpone a number of projects it seeks to implement to avoid deteriorating financial burdens.