The Ministry of Electricity began regular maintenance in a number of production units in five electricity production companies with a capacity of 6,346 MW, in preparation for next summer.
Sources from the ministry said that the maintenance programmes of the power plants will come to an end by mid May 2017, while the maintenance of other units with a capacity of 3,000 MW will begin in February 2017.
The sources added that the maintenance processes are being carried out in companies in Cairo, East Delta, Upper Egypt, and West Delta, in addition to a number of private sector plants and hydropower plants.
The production units that are being maintained include El-Koraymat, Banha, El-Atf, North Giza, Shobra El-Kheima, El-Nobareya, Abu Sultan, Ataqa, El-Shabab, Damanhour, El-Seyouf, Sidi Kreir, Karmouz, North Cairo, East Port Said, and the High Dam.
According to the sources, units come out of service in cases of regular and preventive maintenance, sudden breakdowns, or shortage in gas needed for operation.
The sources said that the companies executing the maintenance operations of the production units include German Siemens, American General Electric, and Japanese Mitsubishi and Hitachi.
They added that the maintenance operations will not affect the stability of the electricity network, especially that the daily surplus of production, after the operations of the production units were suspended for maintenance, reached 4,000 MW.
They mentioned that the consumption of electricity decreases in the winter, given the limited use of fans and air conditioners. The average daily electricity consumption reaches 24,000 MW in the current period.
Last year, the Ministry of Electricity conducted the maintenance and development of 167 production units with total capacities of 36,725 MW and a maintenance cost of EGP 1.5bn. However, the cost is expected to increase next year due to the Egyptian pound’s flotation.
The sources said that the Ministry of Electricity set a plan to execute operations of the replacement and renovation of plants to save fuel and raise their efficiency instead of building new plants, which costs the country large amounts of money. Moreover, production plants are being equipped with modern technology and converted to work through the combined-cycle system to reduce their fuel consumption.
They added that the ministry began early to prepare for next summer through a plan to raise the efficiency of the power production plants, add new electricity capacities, and develop the network of transferring electricity to be able to transfer the capacities that are expected to be added, in addition to carrying out projects of conserving power and raising its efficiency.