The local Orascom Construction has been awarded a $420m contract to convert the Assiut and West Damietta power plants to combined-cycle plants.

Orascom was one of the contractors on the first phase of both power plants, which were both completed in 2015. The Assiut plant currently has a capacity of 1,000MW, with the West Damietta plant currently producing up to 500MW.

The conversion to combined-cycle should boost the capacity of each plant by 50 per cent.

The conversion scheme is part of Cairo’s efforts to boost the country’s generating capacity as demand for electricity from the residential and industrial sectors continues to rise.

Orascom is part of the Siemens-led consortium that signed contracts with the Egyptian government in 2015 to build three gas-fired power plants with a total capacity of 14.4GW.

The three new plants, Beni Suef, Burullus and New Capital, will each have a capacity of 4.8GW. The first plant is scheduled to come online in 2017.