Kuwaiti contractor Kharafi National has said that construction work on two 750MW gas-fired power plants is continuing in Egypt in spite of the protests, but may be delayed by curfews in the country.

Working hours have been reduced due to the curfew, which now applies from 1pm. Completion of both projects may not be reached by July as a consequence.

While the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to build the projects was only signed in October 2010, Kharafi National aimed to complete the construction of the first project by June 2011 and bring the second online by July 2011.

The timescale was highly ambitious, but Kharafi National said that the company “has the letter and turbines and so there will be no delay”.

The prospect of adding power generation capacity to Egypt’s network before summer 2011 was a highly attractive prospect. The importance of delivery time is particularly important in Egypt. The country’s insufficient power generation capacity has resulted in summer power cuts of increasing frequency and severity.

The plants, which are located at Damietta and Shabab, will use open-cycle gas turbines manufactured by the US’ GE.

The turbines for the both projects were originally to be installed at Subiya in Kuwait before the government cancelled the tender for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract three years ago.