CAIRO - Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Tuesday opened three new power stations built for a total of 6 billion euros ($7 billion) as part of the
country's development drive.
Acute power shortages in the years immediately following Egypt's 2011 uprising led to frequent summer blackouts and cuts to industrial output, but the new projects initiated in 2015 are part of an 8 billion-euro deal to supply gas- and wind-power plants to boost electricity generation by 50 percent.
Attending the unveiling of the gas-powered station in the administrative capital, a new city being built as the future government seat east of Cairo, el-Sissi praised Egypt's ability to meet the electricity needs of the country's population of nearly 100 million.
"Today is a day of hope," el-Sissi said. "We have come a long way in one of the most important elements of building and development in the state."
The 4,800-megawatt plant was one of two built in a joint venture between Siemens and Egypt's Orascom Construction, Orascom said in a statement, adding that the second project at Burrulus, in the Nile Delta, had
generation capacity of 9,600 MW.
El-Sissi also unveiled a third gas-powered station in Beni Suef, 110 kilometers (68 miles) south of Cairo. That plant also has capacity of 4,800 MW, sufficient to cover the needs of 15 million people, according to the state-run al-Ahram newspaper.
El-Sissi also opened one of the world's largest wind farms, built at a cost of 12 billion Egyptian pounds ($673 million).
State media said the Gebel el-Zeit station, located in the Red Sea province, has capacity of 580 MW.
Egypt aims to meet 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2022 and up to 40 percent by 2035.
Renewable energy currently covers only about 3 percent of Egypt's needs.