Learning to love WtE
The government is planning to generate 300 MW of electricity from waste-to-energy (WtE) projects by 2025, Electricity Ministry officials reportedly told Al Mal. This new capacity will largely be built and operated by the private sector as the electricity and environment ministries plan to issue tenders for WtE plants under a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) framework to spur private sector interest in the field, the source added. Officials expect 4.2 mn tonnes of solid waste will be used to generate the targeted 300 MW.
Reversing lackluster interest of the private sector: WtE has been touted by the government as a big win for private sector companies looking to enter the space, particularly after approving a high energy tariff of EGP 1.40/ kWh. But despite the initial interest of some 92 companies, only 13 MW of electricity is currently being produced through five WtE companies, officials told the newspaper. The last news of private sector interest to come out of the sector were reports that Empower was considering a EGP 350 mn plant, but we’ve yet to hear of any developments.
The electricity glut coming home to roost: As we noted in our series on how the renewable energy sector is faring amid covid-19, Egypt now has too much generation capacity, producing 58 GW largely from hydrocarbons, while peak summer demand is in the range of 30-32 GW. This is threatening to temporarily halt investment in renewables and alternative energy. Particularly at risk is WtE, which has to also compete with wind and solar, WtE players told us back in July.
This has spurred the government to attempt to push the sector along, as the international cooperation, environment, and local development ministries formed a committee in September to request funding for such projects from international development partners.
IN OTHER ENERGY NEWS- EGAS is planning to raise domestic production of natural gas to 7.5 bn cubic feet (bcm) per day in FY2020-21, up from 6.5 bcm/day in FY2019-20, according to an EGAS report picked up by Al Shorouk.