High-level sources in the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy said that the ministry will sign with a UAE company the contract for establishment of the first coal-using electricity generating station in South Sinai during March 2016.
The sources said that the ministry is currently finalizing the environmental studies and timetable of the project, where the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company will hold negotiations with the UAE company about the price of buying energy to be produced by the project. They noted that the cost of the project reaches nearly US$ 3bn.
The Maghara underground mine in the Sinai Peninsula is Egypt’s only coal mine. Production is reported to be around 360,000 t/y, and this contributes to a national demand for hard coal of around 1.2 Mt/y, which is primarily for the Helwan steel works. Maghara production, which is non-coking, contributes to a blend with imported metallurgical coal and otherwise is used for small industrial processes.
Egypt, officially known as the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental Mediterranean country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia, via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. It is the world’s only contiguous Eurafrasian nation. Most of Egypt’s territory of 1,010,408 sq km (390,000 sq mi) lies within the Nile Valley. It is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.
With over 89 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab World, the 3rd-most populous in Africa (after Nigeria and Ethiopia), and the 15th-most populous in the world. The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 sq km (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable land is found. The large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt’s territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt’s residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centers of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.