Egypt: China-Built Power Grid Shines Hearts of Grass Roots in Egypt

Besides the Nile River, a Chinese worker was working on a power grid tower at the height of over 100 meters. Instead of the breathtaking landscape, he had to focus on those high-voltage power lines and the swaying spot he was sitting on.

Along the river, the Egypt EETC 500kV Transmission Lines Project (EETC Project), a cooperative one between China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co. Ltd (CET) and Egypt is under construction.

Echoing China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative, which is to promote strategic cooperation with overseas markets in all fields, Chinese companies nowadays are searching for more opportunities in Egypt and helping to improve people’s life there by investing in fields like energy, infrastructure, high-tech sector, etc,.

“Thanks to the upgraded relations between China and Egypt and supports from both countries, it only took us several months to communicate the details of the project and then we signed the contract,” Liu Guanghui, CET Middle East Chief Representative told Xinhua.

“As a subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China, CET owns China’s most advantageous technologies and most experienced workers in this field,” he said, adding that “this is the first time for CET to operate a project concerning people’s livelihood in this most populous country in the region and we have attached our greatest importance on it.”

Liu told Xinhua that the over-650-million-dollar EETC Project, which covers almost the whole area of the Nile River delta, is the largest transmission lines project in Egypt’s history.

Considering Egypt’s urgent demands on power, the project will play a key role to improve the country’s power system and boost economic development after it is completed 18 months later.

“I came here with over 500 Chinese colleagues in January, ” Bai Lu, a 29-year-old Chinese worker, who manages the fieldwork team, told Xinhua.

“The width of the river beside us is about 600 meters, we firstly built the towers and then our staffs climbed on them to string the lines,” he said so to introduce the crossing river towers.

“In the heat of summer, Chinese staffers have to spend two hours to climb over 100 meters to the top of the tower every time they need to work on the lines,” the young worker added.

Bai Lu also told Xinhua that his team is cooperating with Egyptian workers on the project. For most parts of the project, Egyptians help with the basic construction and the Chinese staffers focus on the project design, tower work and the most dangerous and high-tech parts of the grid construction.

“We have successfully made some technological breakthroughs in this area of river banks and large deserts. After finishing the news towers and the transmission lines, we will also help upgrade some parts of the old grid,” another young worker with a safety hat named Li Yongli said.

Sitting under the tower, Li and others were enjoying their most precious relaxing time at noon.

Normally, the land surface temperature can be as high as over 50 degree Celsius, making aerial work really tough and risky.

Most of the Chinese workers would like to call their family far away or chat with each other beside the beautiful views during the hottest hours of a day.

“The tower is 175 meters high and 400 tons weight. To finish the project on schedule, every day we start to work from 3 a.m. till sunset, with three hours off at noon,” Li told Xinhua.

“With better transmission efficiency and larger coverage, the new project, with other power stations also under construction, will for sure improve the power supply in Egypt,” the Chinese young man said with a pride smile.

“Every tower is related to the life of all of the family here, I’m glad that we can make some change to the life of people,” he added.

Source: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation