2013, Egyptians became acquainted with almost daily summer blackouts, hours-long gas station lines and a prime min- ister who advised citizens to cope with this miserable, sweaty state of affairs by wearing cotton underwear. President Mohamed Morsi’s removal from office that same July did not exactly come as a surprise. This lesson was not lost on Morsi’s successor, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The current administration has made sure that by the summer of 2015, the lights and air conditioners mostly stayed on. The economic cost was steep, however, with the government forced to divert natural gas from factories, which in turn had to drastically cut production or shut down altogether at a time when Egypt desperately needed to bolster its industry. “Some factories stayed closed for four out of the first six months of the year,” says Mohamed Hanafy of the Federation of Egyptian Industries.
As major corporations and ordinary Egyptians alike know all too well, the energy crisis has been perhaps the biggest single problem bedeviling the country’s economic recovery since 2011. Years in the making, Egypt’s power shortage is the result of many factors, but one of the biggest is