HomeMiddle EastEgyptBlackouts and Extreme Heat Plague Egypt as Government Extends Rolling Electricity Cuts

Blackouts and Extreme Heat Plague Egypt as Government Extends Rolling Electricity Cuts

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Cairo, Egypt – As scorching temperatures sweep across Egypt, millions of citizens are enduring daily power outages, exacerbating frustrations over the government’s handling of energy resources.

With temperatures soaring above 104°F (40°C) in Cairo and reaching an unprecedented 122°F (50°C) in southern Egypt, demand for electricity and relief from the stifling heat has surged to critical levels.

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Selim Habib, a 37-year-old resident of Minya, Upper Egypt, described the dire consequences of frequent power cuts on his daily life. “I rely on charging my wheelchair battery regularly, but the outages disrupt this routine, affecting both my work and personal life,” he lamented.

The Egyptian government, led by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, convened an emergency cabinet meeting to address the escalating crisis.

The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company recently extended rolling blackouts, initially implemented in May, from one hour to up to three hours nationwide.

These measures, aimed at stabilizing strained transmission and natural gas networks, have sparked public outcry and unusual public apologies from key ministries.

Ministers of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker and Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El-Molla, issued a joint statement expressing regret over the prolonged outages.

They attributed the crisis to soaring temperatures and supply disruptions, which have impeded efforts to secure sufficient fuel reserves for peak summer consumption.

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Central to Egypt’s energy woes is its heavy reliance on natural gas, with approximately 66% of electricity generated from this source. The discovery of the Zohr gas field in 2015, hailed as a game-changer for Egypt’s energy independence, initially promised abundant supply.

However, recent revisions have downscaled its estimated reserves from 30 trillion cubic feet to less than 10 trillion, exacerbating the nation’s energy deficit.

Economist Mohamed A. Fouad, a former member of the Egyptian parliament, criticized the government’s approach, citing significant investments in power generation that failed to prevent current shortages.

“Despite capacity expansions, the reality of daily power cuts underscores inadequate planning and management,” he remarked.

Compounding Egypt’s energy woes are geopolitical factors, including interruptions in gas imports from neighboring Israel following recent tensions.

Prime Minister Madbouly acknowledged these challenges in a press conference, attributing part of the gas shortage to external supply disruptions.

Meanwhile, ordinary Egyptians like Muhammad Rayan, a kiosk owner in Cairo, endure the brunt of power outages affecting their livelihoods.

“Sales have plummeted, and the cost of replacing damaged equipment due to power surges is crippling,” Rayan lamented, reflecting the widespread economic repercussions of the crisis.

As Egypt navigates through one of its most severe energy crises in recent years, hopes remain pinned on swift governmental action and regional cooperation to restore stability to the grid and alleviate the suffering of millions affected by the relentless heat and power shortages.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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