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Egypt Warns Citizens to Avoid Elevators During Power Cuts, Sparks Outrage

July 23, 2023
Credit: Utilities ME

In light of the recent heatwave, power cuts will be implemented to alleviate pressures on the country’s electricity infrastructure, announced  the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) in a statement released on Saturday, 22 July.

According to the statement, the power cuts will be implemented in twenty minute windows, starting ten minutes before the top of the hour and ending ten minutes after the top of the hour.

For safety reasons, the EEHC requested that no one use elevators during this 20-minute span, and made it clear that any power outages wouldn’t last more than an hour.

However, the statement did not specify if the power cuts would take place across all of Egypt, or whether they would be happening every day. The statement also did not clarify whether this will continue on for the rest of the summer or if it will only happen for a specific time period.

Many citizens and popular media figures have expressed confusion and disappointment regarding the power cuts over the past week.

“First, Egyptians were told to eat chicken feet as a cheap substitute amid soaring food prices. Now, they’re cautioned against using elevators 10 mins before and after the hour to brace for power cuts. An epic stream of failures to address critical crises,” Nancy Okail, president and CEO of Centre for International Policy, expressed on Twitter.

Speaking of the EEHC’s statement, renowned TV host Lamis Elhadidy said: “There are areas in Upper Egypt where power outages go on for six hours, and in Maadi three hours,” criticizing the unfairness of the load reduction during the previous days.

She also questioned whether the country is facing an electricity crisis, considering that countless renewable energy projects have been implemented to alleviate existing pressures on the consumption of energy.

The recent power cuts, according to a statement issued by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly last Wednesday, were brought about due to an increase in electricity demand as a result of the heatwave and soaring temperatures.

According to Madbouly, the country’s natural gas supply system, which fuels the power plants, has been put under strain by the rise in demand for electricity.

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