Less than a week after receiving the EIA study, without proper study of the EIA report by ministry experts, the minister of environment approved the project due to strong pressure from the minister of Electricity complimentary.
The East Delta Electricity Production Company (EDEPC) in cooperation with the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) is conducting a gas/diesel fired combined-cycle power plant with a capacity of 750 MW at Nuweiba, on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, South Sinai Governorate. Nuweiba was chosen as one location among 6 others.
The power plant would be situated on 105000 square meters, in a valley run-off prone to floods, in close proximity to downtown Nuweiba and tourist facilities - hotels, dive centers, shops, bazaars, Bedouin suburbs, residential and administrative buildings, farms – and about 4 km from the port of Nuweiba.
The plant uses seawater for the cooling system: 1.3 cubic meter / day - discharged at temperatures 9 degrees higher than the ambient seawater.
Consequence of the projects:
Potential loss of livelihood:
The transformation of Nuweiba into an industrial precinct leads to the ultimate termination of tourist activities in Nuweiba and closure of tourist related businesses.
Nuweiba has no sufficient infrastructure in terms of: social services, administration, security, food/water supply, waste, roads, etc. to host more than 3000 workers during implementation of the project.
The foreign workforce will leave a negative impact on the indigenous people of Nuweiba, leading to its further marginalization as a social group, which might lead to social unrest, deepen already existing resentments.
Nuweiba is an attractive tourist destination known for its unspoiled environment. The power plant will be an ugly landmark visible from miles away distracting tourists and marking the end of tourism in Nuweiba.
The distance between Nuweiba and Suez is 350 km. The roads are not qualified for more transportation of heavy goods vehicles carrying building material, transportation of diesel fuel needed for the plant and the transportation of hazardous material / contaminated waste.
An increase in accidents involving tourist vehicles, already a problem, is to be expected on the roads between Nuweiba – Taba / Nuweiba – Sharm el Sheikh – Suez.
Wadi Watir, the direct asphalt road through the mountains, is often inaccessible during certain times of the year due to flood warnings.( In recent years ), parts of the asphalt road are frequently destroyed by flash floods.
The Gulf of Aqaba water is protected under the law of natural protectorates 102/1983!
Intake/discharge issue: Interference in the natural food chain will irreparably alter the prolific marine eco-system.
During construction, extensive water works, and during operation, the rate of discharged thermal water and the use of chemicals to clean the pipes lead to sedimentation and subsequently to coral bleaching/death and hence to alteration of the ecosystem all along the coast of Nuweiba.
The plant will visually impact tourist destinations. The decrease in air quality in Nuweiba, and increase of noise pollution present potential health risks for Nuweiba residents and the environment.
(The above does not presume to portray the full extent of destruction caused by the power plant.)
Location of the plant: in a valley run-off area prone to floods
Disregard of the law 102/1983 of natural protectorates
EIA report: outdated and misinformation, incompetence
No access to the full EIA. Parts of the detailed EIA are not downloadable from the Internet.
The EIA was handed over to the EEAA Only around 10th of June 2009.
Less than a week later, without proper study of the EIA report by ministry experts, the minister of environment approved the project due to strong pressure from the minister of Electricity complimentary. They just changed the name of an already approved power plant at the Gulf of Suez. Legal steps will be taken from our side.
English is widely spoken and understood in Egypt, though this should not be taken for granted. The official language in Egypt is Arabic and unfortunately, an Arabic version/translation of the EIA does not exist.