PM, energy council to discuss recent spate of power cuts

Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif is scheduled to meet with members of Egypt’s Supreme Energy Council on Monday to discuss the spate of power cuts that have plagued the country in recent weeks.

Along with offering international tenders for the construction of new power stations, meeting participants are expected to discuss means of reducing the current load on the national electricity network.

Meanwhile, a number of political movements have organized vigils to protest frequent power outages and soaring commodity prices.

The 6 April protest movement, for one, is planning to hold a vigil before Council of Ministers headquarters on Tuesday, where protesters plan to hold symbolic candles aloft.

The Free Popular Front, for its part, will stage a vigil on Wednesday in Cairo's Matareya Square to protest soaring food prices. Its members plan to hold up empty bread baskets.

According to Mohamed Awad, president of the state-run Electricity Holding Company (EHC), the EHC was forced to reduce the load on the national power grid by 850 megawatts last Saturday after it had reached a record-high of 22,400 megawatts.

An Electricity Ministry source said that the Petroleum Ministry had failed to supply the quantities of natural gas necessary to operate the country's power stations, which had led to a total capacity shortfall of some 1600 megawatts.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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