The news that Egypt has invited consultants to express interest in a 1,500-2,500MW gas power plant at Daruit shows Cairo is aware that, regardless of the political turmoil, it must press ahead with key infrastructure projects.
The Daruit scheme has been in the pipeline for several years. However, the project stalled following the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. Two years on from the revolution, Egypt is far from stable.
While the country was able to select a president in June last year, its parliament was dissolved by Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court after elections were deemed unconstitutional. It is now unclear when fresh parliamentary elections will be held after the court recently rejected the draft election law.
With Mohammed Mursi continuing to face protests against his rule, much directed at his failure to improve social conditions and revive Egypt’s economy, the president knows that delivering infrastructure projects is imperative. Improving living standards for all Egyptians, includes ensuring access to reliable electricity supply.
The country has suffered from increasing blackouts in recent years and demand for electricity is continuing to rise sharply. While Egypt’s economy will not fully recover until political stability is achieved, financial support from the international community for the Daruit scheme will ensure it moves forward.
For Egypt’s president and any future government to succeed, it is vital that projects like the Daruit power plant go ahead.