Even oil-rich nations need an energy boost. GE is working to provide one for Egypt.
Delivering power where it matters and when it matters has been a major challenge for policy makers across the world. Electricity fuels life and growth, and with the population continuing to increase around the globe, the demand for reliable and assured power supply is growing as well, often at exponential rates.
Across the Middle East and North Africa, the lack of adequate power supply has far-reaching effects on the development of more than a handful of countries. And this energy crisis is a reality not only for non-oil producing nations, but even for oil-rich countries.
That might come as a surprise: Why should oil-rich nations experience a power crisis when they have untapped reserves that could last decades, if not centuries?
It also leads to another, more critical question: If oil-rich nations can’t meet their power demands, how can countries that don’t produce oil ever expect to reach power self-sufficiency?
Today, governments in the region are increasingly focused on economic stimulus measures to create jobs for its large youth population and promote inclusive growth. They are finding ways to drive development and economic growth even without assured power sources.
The best available solution for them to address income inequalities has been to invest in “New Deals” – large-scale infrastructure projects that have the potential to catalyze economies and set the platform for sustained growth.
In Egypt, a country that has witnessed political upheaval over the last several years, the government is charting a new era of growth led by bold policy reforms, particularly in the energy sector.
That means taking technology to the next level, exploring new power sources and, most importantly, partnering with the scientific and professional community, as well as researchers and students, to identify and co-create innovative solutions that make a positive difference.
Investing in power and partnering with public and private sector providers has long been a priority for GE. That’s why GE has been an investor, as well as a growth and productivity partner for Egypt for more than 40 years. We are active partners in providing electricity, generating at source, and distributing to the exact touchpoint where it is needed – especially in remote locations where electricity is needed on-site for the seamless execution of projects.
At this week’s Egypt Economic Development Conference, GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Immelt announced several path-breaking energy deals that will add 2.6 gigawatts to the Egyptian power grid, complementing the country’s Power Boost Program. Pertinently, this power enters the grid this May, right in time for the peak demands of summer. With this “New Deal,” we are helping to light up more than 2.5 million homes.
Our power investment is a natural extension of what GE has done over the past four decades in Egypt – we’re committed to powering the country’s growth. Now, as Egypt looks at renewable energy and innovative localized solutions to address energy sector efficiency, GE is there to support, invest in and manage these projects. And in this, a fundamental priority will be to strengthening operational efficiency and diversifying energy resources by sharing our latest productivity solutions with our partners.
Like many Middle East and North African countries, Egypt has seen its share of turmoil and power supply issues. Moving fast, moving first, we will work side by side with the people of Egypt to power a new growth story.
(Top image: Courtesy of Thinkstock)
Nabil Habayeb is GE’s President and CEO for the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey