Egypt is no stranger to power outages, with cities such as Cairo regularly experiencing major blackouts in the peak of summer. However, the Government is working on a fix – and one solution has already reduced power outages by 20%.
The Egyptian Government is currently in the process of investing millions into restructuring its electricity sector, and that includes diversifying its supply of electricity. It is building wind farms, solar farms and new nuclear power plants to add supply, while it’s also seeing new oil and gas-fired energy production facilities come online to help end power shortages.
However, while new supply can help reduce power outages caused by undersupply, the Government is also investing in modern and advanced technology to ensure that the local grids in major cities can cope with all the new electricity.
It all forms part of the Egyptian Government’s 2030 vision, which includes the rehabilitation of equipment and the maintenance provision for grids. The plans are being supported by a $240 million loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to develop Egypt’s electricity sector, raising the energy efficiency of the grid using high-end digital solutions to monitor and control peaks and flows in the network.
ABB was awarded a contract for the supply of Gas Insulated Compact Switchgear, GIS SafePlus Digital. Introduced for the first time in Egypt by North Cairo Electricity Distribution Company (NCED) to enhance power supply and operations, the GIS SafePlus Digital switchgear has a combination of fully modular and semi-modular configurations. Additionally, a sealed system contains all live parts and switching functions, which ABB says provides a high level of reliability as well as personnel safety and a virtually maintenance-free system.
Through built-in digital capabilities, utilities can connect directly with city operation centres and, with data and diagnostics, can provide immediate action and remote monitoring of grids. ABB notes that this will reduce downtime with maintenance, resulting in fewer shutdowns and system failures, and lowering cost of ownership with smart, safe and sustainable solutions.
It’s believed that by modernising the infrastructure management system and introducing advanced metering infrastructure, power outages in Northern Cairo could be reduced by 20%.
“Owing to a productive collaboration between our teams in Egypt and Norway, ABB’s GIS SafePlus Digital will pave the way for introducing advanced infrastructure into the Egyptian market. Thanks to its innovative design, including advanced RMU Automation solutions with integrated current and voltage sensors, we can raise the efficiency of power distribution systems, reduce losses and down time, improve service quality, and finally transform the electricity distribution network into a ‘smart’ network’” said Mohamed Salah, Product Marketing Director Egypt, ABB’s Distribution Solutions division.