The Arab Republic of Egypt is located in northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean sea between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula. According to a July 2005 estimate, it has a total population of 77.5M (residing in a total area of 1Mkm2). The capital city of Cairo has a population of more then 14M (CIA Facts).

A total of 86,073GWh of power was produced by Egypt in 2002, consisting of 6452GWh oil, 65,408GWh gas, 13,995GWh hydro, and 218GWh from other sources (IEA Energy statistics, 2002).

Hydroelectric generation began in Egypt in 1926 with the 0.68MW El-Azab mini hydro plant in the El-Faiyum oasis.

In 1960, work started on the High Aswan dam, whose storage basin is considered to be the second largest man-made lake in the world, covering an area of 500km. The power house has 12 Francis turbines, each with an output of 175MW, producing an annual average energy generation of 9TWh (Country Report).

The share of hydro in the national electricity supply has declined, from 72% to only 17.5% in 2002. The technically and economically feasible potential is about 50,000GWh/yr, but that depends a lot on the flow of the Nile river. Egypt had a total installed capacity of 16,000MW in 1997, of which approximately 2715MW was hydro power. This includes major dams like Aswan (2100MW), Aswan 1 (354MW), Aswan 2 (270MW), Eana (90MW), Nag Hammadi (5.4MW), Nag Hammadi (64MW) and El Azab (0.86MW) (Country Report).

Planned hydro power projects in Egypt include the 64MW Naga-Hammadi plant at the new Naga-Hammadi barrage; the 40MW Assiut barrage; the 20MW Damietta station at the Mohammed Ali barrage; and the 3MW Zefta small hydro plant at the Zefta barrage (Country Reports). Another project, the Qattar Depression project (a ‘reverse’ hydro scheme) is being considered, but how close it is to being realised is unknown. The project would include a channel dug from the Mediterranean into a depression in the northwest of the country, around 130mm below sea level providing approximately 340MW of capacity.

Educational programmes

• Ain Shams University offers a degree in civil engineering with a specialisation in Water and Hydraulics Structures. It also offers a diploma in the flowing subjects: Hydraulic Structures; Hydraulic Engineering; and Water Resources Engineering – all from the Irrigation and Hydraulics department. There are also Masters in Irrigation and Hydraulics available, these include: Hydraulic Structures; Hydraulic Engineering; Irrigation and Drainage Engineering; Water Resources Engineering; Coastal and Harbour Engineering; Water and Environment; and Nile River Hydrology. .

• The University of Cairo offers Masters and Philosophy diplomas in Water Resource Engineering. Also the department of Irrigation and Hydraulics is responsible for a programme in fluid mechanics, hydraulics, and hydrology and water resource.

• The University of Al-Minya offers a diploma with a specialty in Irrigation and Hydraulics, under the faculty of engineering.

• Alexandria University has a separate Irrigation and Hydraulic Engineering department, within the faculty of Engineering, which has some programmes related to hydraulics.

FilesEgypt profile