Further blackouts of up to 6 hours a day anticipated until July

Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker said on Thursday that there is a 10 percent deficit in the fuel required to fully operate the nations’ power stations, amounting to a shortfall of 3,000 megawatts, which translates into power cuts of two to three hours daily.

Shaker added that if the shortage reaches 20 percent, power outages may last for up to six hours, privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. 

The ministry is currently attempting to save 2000 megawatts daily, warning that this may result in power cuts after sunset during times of peak consumption. The official explained that the necessary maintenance of power stations in preparation for the summer months has led to a recent increase in blackouts.

Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail said in a televised episode of Lazem Nefham (We have to Understand), a television show on privately owned CBC, that the fuel shortage will continue for another few months. However, he added that an increase in natural gas reserves is expected by July. 

The official maintained that with reasonable consumption, especially during peak times, power cuts could decrease to less than an hour a day.

The Cabinet’s official Facebook page stated on Wednesday that Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb approved the use of coal as an additional energy source, following a meeting with the ministers of tourism, industry, trade and investment, petroleum, environment, health and electricity.

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