BEIRUT

Middle East

Egypt says it will end blackouts in 4 months

Sawiris Towers, Cairo September 18, 2011. (Reuters/Mohammad Abdel-Ghany)

CAIRO: Top officials in Egypt have promised to end the rolling blackouts hitting the country in four months, blaming the outages on a fuel shortage, hot weather and poor maintenance of power plants.

Neighborhoods in Egypt sink into darkness for hours during the day, leaving millions without power. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlab described the outages as a "severe problem" during a news conference Wednesday.

Mehlab said that the electricity problem is "complicated." Previously, he blamed the worsening outages on saboteurs.

Mohammad Shaker, Egypt's minister of electricity, promised the country will add a total of 4,810 megawatts to its more than 22,000-megawatt total production. Shaker said that will be a "breakthrough" in the crisis.

 

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