Egypt does not have enough electricity - they have been getting a lot of power cuts, especially in summer of 2014. It’s not like in the UK where we worry about our 4% margin of safety above our peak demand, in Egypt peak demand is more than capacity. So the lights go out and the fridge dies and its 35 °C in the shade only there isn’t much shade.

Consumption has tripled from 43 TWh since 1990 to 156 TWh in 2014. As the chart shows this is mostly (90%) derived from fossil fuels, apparently gas and oil and typically using old and inefficient plant.

Egypt’s current generating capacity is some 30 GW and they are aiming to double it by 2020 or thereabouts. There will be some some renewables in the mix: the Egyptian government is into the sustainability and climate change narratives, they are keen on renewables and they aim for 20% renewable generation by 2020. But in the near and medium term, in the real world, it is gas and coal.

New Gas Generation

Siemens (of Germany of course) has just signed the largest contract in its history, an €8 billion deal to build three massive 4.8 GW CCGT (closed cycle gas turbine) power stations, each station housing eight Siemens H-class gas turbines.

That is 14.4 GW of new fossil fuel power. The CEO of Siemens recently said he never expected to sell another gas turbine in Germany. He doesn’t need to.

Egypt’s production of Natural gas has been languishing recently (see chart) so how will they feed these power stations?