oPt

OPT: OCHA Special Focus May 2007

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Power Capacity in the Gaza Strip
  • Electrical capacity in the Gaza Strip remains insufficient and power cuts will ensue in the coming weeks coinciding with the summer peak demand.
  • Most Gaza residents will suffer disruption to their lives as result of the cuts.
  • Solutions to the problem are available however the Palestinian Energy Authority (PEA) does not have the necessary funds.
  • The $7 million required for a long term solution is less than the current monthly fuel costs from running generators by essential service providers.
Background

On 28 June 2006 Israeli Air Force jets targeted the main power plant in the Gaza Strip following the seizure of an IDF soldier by Palestinian militants three days earlier.

All six transformers at the power plant were destroyed and eliminated at a stroke 43% of Gaza's total power capacity. Most of Gaza's 1.4 million population were left without electricity for up to 18 hours per day and without water for more than 20 hours per day.

Between 1 and 15 November 2006 seven new transformers were installed under phase I of a recovery plan. The capacity of these new units along with the other existing power sources is insufficient to cope with peak periods. From mid-December and throughout most of January, Gazan families were experiencing cuts of around 3 hours per day due to winter demand.

As temperatures start to rise in Gaza more extended cuts can be expected from June. The Palestinian Energy Authority estimates power outages of approximately 8 hours per day on two days per week. While these cuts are not as extensive as those seen last summer, families will certainly face disruption to their lives; for example the water supply will be reduced and dairy products will quickly sour as Gaza summer temperatures exceed 35 degrees celsius.

Essential service providers such as the power station and the Gaza Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) will further rely on generators and fuel to ensure continuity of supplies. Hospitals throughout the Gaza Strip will be similarly affected. Window II of the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) provides over 7.85 million litres of fuel each month at a cost of nearly $ 8 million.

The current power supply available to Gaza, originates from three sources:

Gaza Power Generating Company (GPGC)
50 MW
Israel Electrical Company (IEC)
120 MW
Egypt
17MW
Total
187 MW



The Palestinian Energy Authority expects demand to rise to 230 MW to coincide with the summer peak, meaning there is a current deficit of 43 MW.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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