EGYPT POWER COMPANY TO FIX LINE FEEDING GAZA STRIP

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Egyptian electricity distribution company sent a team of technicians to fix the power line that provides electricity to Gaza on Saturday, after a failure plunged the coastal strip’s southern Rafah area into darkness on Friday.(File Photo)

Cairo, 24 Jumadil Awwal 1436/15 March 2015 (MINA) –  The Egyptian electricity distribution company sent a team of technicians to fix the power line that provides electricity to Gaza on Saturday, after a failure plunged the coastal strip’s southern Rafah area into darkness on Friday.

An Egyptian military source said that the power cable, which runs from el-Arish power plant and provides power to al-Sheikh Zuweid in northern Sinai and to Gaza, failed due to an electrical overload.

The team of technicians arrived under heavily armed security in the area, which has seen a spate of violent attacks, Ma’an News Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic  News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

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Gaza currently receives electricity from the Egyptian electricity grid, the Israeli electric company, and from a power station inside Gaza.

However, these supply lines fall far short of the Gazan population’s needs. While they provide 230 MW of electricity, it has been estimated that the Gazan people require 350 to 450 MW.

In July last year, Egypt agreed to increase its supply from 27 to 32 MW.

However, relations have been strained between the Egyptian government and Hamas, which Egypt accuses of aiding anti-government militants in the Sinai region.

Egypt has helped Israel maintain a severe blockade of the Gaza Strip for the last eight years that has crippled the coastal enclave’s economy by limited imports, exports, and movement of people.

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Although the power plant inside Gaza has a potential output of 140 MW it has been unable to produce that much due to Israeli restrictions on fuel imports.

Last summer the plant was targeted during the 50-day Israeli offensive on Gaza, completely knocking it out of commission. The Gaza power authority said at the time that the damages from the attack could take up to a year to fix completely.

Gaza suffers 12 hours of power outages each day. Many individual homes have their own generators, and households can purchase extremely expensive fuel that comes into Gaza for private consumption.  (T/P010/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)