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German industrial company Siemens recently signed an 8 billion Euro deal ($9 billion) with Egypt to supply gas and wind power plants to boost the North African country's electricity generation by 50 percent. The deal was signed during an official visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Germany , and is said to be the company's single biggest order. It is likely to give a boost to its gas and power division which is struggling at home.
Siemens said the installations, when completed, would add 16.4 gigawatts (GW) to Egypt's national grid. The order includes 24 Siemens' H-Class gas turbines, which are likely to power three new gas plants. Egypt is going through its worst energy crisis in decades, with power cuts common as its ageing state-run infrastructure struggles to handle rapidly growing demand for electricity in a country of 87 million people.
The orders expand on memorandums of understanding announced in March with Siemens and other suppliers including General Electric (GE) as Egypt strives to improve its creaking national grid. The deal could put the German company, which started doing business in Egypt in 1859, ahead of arch-rival GE. GE said this year it had a 30 percent market share while Siemens claimed a share of 25 percent before the deal.
Orascom Construction (OC) , an engineering and building business dual-listed in Cairo and Dubai, said it would construct in consortium with Siemens two combined cycle plants with a total generation capacity of 9.6 GW. OC said in a statement its combined share of the contracts was 1.6 billion euros and would be financed by the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company.
Siemens has also built an H-Class turbine-powered plant in Irsching, Bavaria, but it will be shut next year as it is pushed out of business by competition from renewable energy.