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EGYPT - Profile - Maher Abaza.

The Deputy Chairman and CEO of Midor since October 1999, Abaza then used to be Minister of Electricity & Energy and was quite powerful in the ruling establishment. Midor is a 100,000 b/d state-of-the-art oil refining venture which came on stream in 2001. The main partners in this are EGPC (40%), Enppi (10%) and Petroject (10%).

Midor's Chairman is Hussein Salem, a business tycoon close to President Mubarak. From January 1997 to October 1999, Midor's Vice Chairman and CEO used to be Sameh Fahmi, who on Oct. 9, 1999 became petroleum minister (see Fahmi's profile in OMT and Midor in DT No. 2).

Abaza comes from a prominent family, with the current Agriculture and Land Reclamation Minister being Amin Ahmad Abaza. Maher Abaza became minister of electricity and energy in 1982 and turned the ministry into an empire in control of the state's Egyptian Electricity Authority (EEA), then the largest power agency in the Arab world. Abaza modernised Egypt's power sector. This was a daunting mission started in the 1970s, when planners began to worry about the sector's heavy dependence on the Nile River for hydro-electricity. He managed to get over 80% of the power sector to be based on gas. He also initiated the concept of linking Egypt's power grid to those of the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries and with those of Europe (see background in DT No. 4 of Vol. 62).

The Ministry of Electricity and Energy was abolished at the end of last month, when when a new government was announced by Prime Minister Ahmad Nazif. Now the energy sector is represented in a new Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development under a new minister, Ahmad Amin el-Maghreby.

The last minister of electricity and energy was Hassan Younis.
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Date:Jan 23, 2006
Words:296
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