An apology and clarification.. The Prime Minister speaks in numbers about the electricity crisis

05:46 PM

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Cairo – Masrawy:
Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly confirmed that there are directives from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to the government to deal with the unprecedented crisis that occurred yesterday in the electricity sector, and to intervene in an exceptional manner to resolve this crisis and mitigate its repercussions, pointing to the urgent meeting that was held today in the presence of my ministers. Electricity and petroleum, and discussed coordination and cooperation mechanisms between the various relevant state agencies, including the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Egypt. To develop an exceptional plan to deal with waves of high temperatures during the summer; Its goal is to completely mitigate power outages during the summer period, in anticipation of major heat waves.

This came during statements made by Madbouly, today, from the Council of Ministers headquarters in the New Administrative Capital, within the framework of explaining the dimensions of the problem of power outages to reduce loads, and announcing the decisions that were reached with the ministers and concerned authorities to confront this crisis, in the presence of Dr. Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, and Engineer Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

Madbouly said: “I asked the Ministers of Electricity and Petroleum to calculate the additional amounts that will be in the form of shipments to obtain, whether natural gas or diesel, until we get through the summer period, which means reaching zero power outages throughout the summer period.”

He explained that the two ministers have already prepared the necessary studies that include the size of the required quantities, and they stated that they need products worth one billion dollars, in addition to the 180 million dollars that we have managed in the past 48 hours, meaning that we are talking about a total of 1.18 billion dollars that we will allocate as a state in order to overcome the summer period during the coming period, which is equivalent to 57 billion pounds; and what is important to us is that the Egyptian citizen realizes that providing the dollar is the most important thing, and that this amount will be managed from the dollar resources of the Egyptian state during this very important period.

Madbouly pointed out an important point related to the fact that it is not possible to obtain these shipments at once, because this matter takes a long time in contracts, and based on these words and the estimate of the Minister of Petroleum, who stated that we will be able to reach the full volume of shipments that enabled us to stop the electricity cuts. Completely throughout the summer period with the third week of July, and therefore our plan from today until the third week of next July will be as follows: During the remaining days of this week we will be forced to continue to reduce loads for 3 hours a day, and starting next week we will return. To the two-hour period, and gradually, with the arrival of various shipments and required products, work will be done to stop the power outage throughout the summer period.

The Prime Minister also stressed his keenness to make these statements to review in detail the electricity crisis that occurred yesterday throughout the Republic and affected various citizens. He reiterated the government’s apology for the problem of power outages, which is a very difficult problem for us as officials, regardless of the periods of outage, considering that This facility is essential in the lives of all citizens, pointing out that it receives many complaints due to this problem from citizens who have certain conditions, whether health conditions, advanced age, or humanitarian conditions, which is very difficult for them, in addition to the high school certificate exams. From this standpoint, the government is fully aware of the extent of Egyptian families’ suffering from the problem of power outages in general, and what happened yesterday in particular.

In this context, Madbouly explained what happened yesterday regarding the power outage across the country, explaining that since the beginning of this problem and the government began reducing loads, and it was announced that it would be about two hours per day, our main concern with the concerned ministers was how to get out of this crisis once and for all, and it was announced later that a plan had been put in place to end the problem of reducing loads by the end of this year 2024, and indeed there are great efforts being made in this file, and a number of measures have been taken in this regard to achieve this goal, as with the increase in consumption associated with the great development pursued by the state, in addition to the population increase, there is great pressure on dollar resources to arrange the required volume to ensure the regularity of electricity around the clock.

The Prime Minister added that we do not have a power generation crisis at all in terms of transportation or network distribution, but it is a problem of fuel management. Electricity stations operate on two basic components: diesel and natural gas, and there is already a plan to adhere to a two-hour outage period so that we can completely stop doing so before the end of this year, according to what we are targeting with regard to reducing loads, because we realize that this matter does not only affect the citizen, but it also affects Other sectors such as industry and investment, we are well aware and do not want any factory to be harmed or affected by stopping gas due to the current crisis.

Madbouly said: “As usual, I speak with you with the utmost transparency. This month of June witnessed three unprecedented heat waves if we compare them to the same period in previous years. Among these waves was what we witnessed during the Eid al-Adha holiday period. It was a very difficult wave, and temperature levels reached more than At 40 degrees, reaching 42 and 43, the temperature in Aswan recorded a record high exceeding 50 degrees Celsius, and in light of this, we were keen to follow up with the Ministers of Electricity and Petroleum and all employees in the two ministries to maintain the power outage for only two hours.

He continued: Immediately after the Eid holiday, we witnessed another intense heat wave that continues until the day when the temperature today reaches 41 or 42 degrees Celsius, and over the course of the two days this coincides with the return of entire work crews in all parts of the country. Whether the private sector or the government sector, which led to the consumption of unprecedented amounts of electrical energy during this period, he added: Yesterday, we had approached the volume of electricity consumption amounting to 36 gigabytes, before the crisis that occurred in the middle of yesterday.

In this context, the Prime Minister spoke about the capabilities that Egypt enjoys in terms of gas and energy, and said: God blessed Egypt with its capabilities and resources, and within the framework of the state’s plan to be a regional center for the circulation of energy, especially gas, through the operations of liquefying gas, exporting and trading it. Egypt has a regional network linking it to countries. Neighborhood, and this network benefits those countries with each other, so that when there is a surplus in any of them, it can export this surplus through this regional network to the rest of the other countries, through the regional network of the rest of the countries, and since Egypt is a regional center, there are measures that have been taken in this regard. matter; We receive gas from neighboring countries and it is liquefied in the main liquefaction stations in Egypt, and then it is re-exported through us to the rest of the world. Thus, Egypt sometimes, especially in the winter, has a surplus that enables it to export, but on the contrary in the period Summer in light of the increase in demand and consumption, and during the past four years we have completely stopped exporting in the summer, and have even imported a fair amount from neighboring countries to cover the country’s needs, as the network works on both sides, through which we export and import.

The Prime Minister continued his speech – in this context – by pointing out that what happened yesterday was that one of the fields in the neighboring countries that are connected and that pump large quantities into the Egyptian network went out of service, and a technical failure occurred in it, so it stopped for more than 12 hours, and thus the volume of gas that was pumped into the network and reached us and that we use for our daily needs stopped completely during this period.

He explained that as soon as this matter happened and he was notified of it, a crisis cell was formed with the Ministers of Electricity and Petroleum, and developments in the field were followed throughout last night until it returned to production at full capacity this morning, and thus the effect of this matter, although it stopped for 12 hours completely, was… It took a full 24 hours for the field to return to production, and this period is unfortunately what caused the negative impact that occurred yesterday.

The Prime Minister added, saying: The decision that we were unfortunately forced to take was to increase the period of power outage, because we cannot as a country, in light of the danger of a shortage of this magnitude, continue to consume all the gas in the network, which would have resulted in a very big problem in operating all the stations and would have caused What is called the “domino effect”, which is when all network stations stop serving one after another. Therefore, the important decision that was taken was to increase the period of power outage, so that we can, thank God, recover, resume pumping gas from fields in neighboring countries, and things return to normal.

Regarding the government’s efforts to prevent such a matter from happening again, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly referred to the plan drawn up to overcome the summer period, which was carried out in coordination between the Ministries of Electricity, Petroleum, and Finance, and which is based on the importance of anticipating and dealing with the waves and surges that have been observed in the country. Unprecedented temperatures, especially during the coming summer months, saying: “48 hours ago, the Minister of Petroleum presented what was required to increase the volume of strategic reserves of diesel used to maneuver between electrical stations and each other, which is estimated at an additional 300 thousand tons of diesel, at a value of 180 million dollars, stressing This offer was immediately approved, with instructions to the Minister of Finance to arrange the equivalent of this amount in Egyptian pounds, and the Minister of Petroleum has already begun contracting for these quantities, which are scheduled to arrive at the beginning of next week, with the aim of increasing the strategic reserves used within the stations.

He added that, based on this offer and reviewing this number with the ministers today, I directed the Minister of Petroleum to immediately begin contracting for these shipments so that we can bring them in immediately until we pass the summer period. Coordination has also been made with the Minister of Finance in order to manage the amounts in Egyptian pounds, and also coordination with the governor of the bank. Central Bank to arrange the equivalent of these amounts in dollars.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the plan drawn up by the government included working to stop power outages by the end of the year, saying: “After the end of the summer, there will be two or three months left until the end of the year, during which work will be done to reduce loads through a plan that will be implemented.” Work on it, and the additional amounts required to be allocated by the state to provide the necessary products and shipments to reduce these loads until the end of the year.”

The Prime Minister stressed the continuation of efforts made to deal with the power outage crisis. In an effort to complete it before the estimated dates for that at the end of this year, indicating that the amounts that were announced, which are “one billion dollars,” are preliminary numbers that can be increased, given the volume of consumption and the unprecedented heat waves that we may witness, reiterating the government’s readiness to manage Providing the required products, ensuring that electricity is not repeated in homes, factories, and various facilities.

The Prime Minister added: The issue we are dealing with is arranging the necessary financial resources to provide the products required to operate electrical stations at full capacity, stressing the state’s commitment to this matter, with the importance of having a plan to rationalize electrical energy consumption, and therefore he asked the Minister of Local Development to begin activating the first steps. The process of rationalization is that, starting from the beginning of next month, various shops and malls nationwide will be closed at ten o’clock in the evening, with the exception of: pharmacies, supermarkets, and restaurants, provided that restaurants and supermarkets will be closed at one o’clock in the morning, pointing out that these measures It is considered part of a plan that helps in rationalization processes, calling on citizens to participate in implementing rationalization processes inside homes as well, and in various establishments, as this helps the state reduce the volume of imported petroleum products.

The Prime Minister added: “We, thank God, have overcome the stifling economic crisis that we have been going through for months, which is what all citizens know, and all that remains for the government today is to solve the problem of cutting off electricity, and it will be done – God willing – through the plan drawn up for it, and it will be done.” Implementing it – with God’s help – so that we have overcome this major crisis that we were going through, and all our focus during the next stage remains on the return of the Egyptian economy to recovery and take off, achieving high growth rates and attracting large investments, which is the government’s plan during the coming period.”

At the conclusion of his statements, Dr. Mustafa Madbouly said: I was very keen to hold this conference, and to present to you with the utmost transparency the situation, what happened in it, what is being implemented, the reasons for yesterday’s crisis, and our vision and plans that we have begun for a solution and exit from it, God willing, calling on God Almighty to Preserves Egypt during the coming period; As you follow, all the regional crises currently exist and their repercussions at the regional level and on Egypt, but we as a country must plan and absorb any of these crises and be able to absorb them – God willing – and move in the direction of development and growth of the Egyptian economy during the coming period.
The Prime Minister added: “I extend my apologies to the Egyptian people for the crisis that occurred yesterday, which I explained in detail, and God willing, this crisis will not return again, and with the steps that were presented to you, we will be able, according to these precautionary measures – God willing – to prevent this crisis from recurring.”

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