Japan’s Marubeni mulls building coal power plant in Egypt

Japan’s Marubeni Corp and Egypt’s El Sewedy Electric have agreed with Egypt’s state-run electricity utility to conduct a feasibility study into the construction of a coal-fired power plant in Egypt, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The move comes as part of the Japanese trading firm’s drive to boost its power infrastructure business worldwide and follows its announcement on Tuesday to build a 400 megawatt gas-based combined cycle power station in Bangladesh.

Earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Tokyo that Japanese companies were set to take part in Egyptian projects worth about 2 trillion yen ($17.5 billion) in the electricity and other sectors.

Under the memorandum of understanding signed on Wednesday, Marubeni and Egyptian electric equipment manufacturer El Sewedy will conduct a feasibility study into building an ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant for the state-owned Egyptian Electricity Holding Company in the West Mattrouh region, 450 km northwest of Cairo.

The Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday that Marubeni might help build a 4 gigawatt (GW) coal-fired power station, which could cost more than 400 billion yen ($3.50 billion).

However, a Marubeni spokesman said on Wednesday the size and cost of the plant had not been decided, adding the feasibility study would be done within two years.

To meet rising power demand and diversify energy resources, Egypt has announced plans to install about 12.5 GW of coal-fired power stations by 2022, according to Marubeni.

Marubeni has won engineering, procurement and construction contracts for more than 100 GW of power plant projects globally, of which coal-fired power plants account for 40 GW.