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The First of 21 Fuel Shipments From US Arrives in Ain Sokhna

The government hopes that 21 deliveries of fuel will be enough to end the rolling power cuts across Egypt for the summer months.

Cairo Scene

The First of 21 Fuel Shipments From US Arrives in Ain Sokhna

Egypt has now received the first of 21 fuel deliveries intended to combat the strain on the energy sector during the hot summer months. The shipment arrived at the Ain Sokhna terminal from Freeport, USA, and contained 3.5 million cubic feet of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which will be converted into natural gas within the week.

For the past year, power cuts of up to six hours a day have been the norm, becoming longer and more frequent as temperatures rise to some of the highest in living memory.

Prime Minister Madbouly addressed the frequent blackouts in a speech last week, promising that the government had allocated approximately USD 1.18 billion for imports of fuel to supplement the summer energy demand.

According to governmental allocations, USD 1 billion will be spent on natural gas, and USD 180 million on mazut, a type of heavy fuel oil. 21 shipments over the summer is projected to be enough to end the power cuts during the hottest months.

The shortage of natural gas has also impacted production at a number of fertiliser factories, with some having to halt production entirely. A small proportion of the fuel deliveries will be redirected to these factories so that normal fertiliser production can resume over the summer.

In order to conserve energy, the government recently ordered all shops, restaurants and malls to close early at 10 PM, with only supermarkets and pharmacies allowed to stay open until 1 AM. Prime Minister Madbouly has expressed hopes to end the power cuts by the third week of July, but shops would be required to keep closing early until the end of September.

Seeking to boost gas production and encourage foreign investment, the government has relayed that some European countries have expressed interest in deals worth up to USD 40 billion at the Egypt-EU Investment Conference last weekend.


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