Egypt plans to enlist the private sector in order to almost double the country’s power generating capacity by 2010, the government has announced. It will offer build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contracts for 15 power plants, worth around $7.2 billion, Dow Jones reports.

The plants will add 9350 MW to the country’s existing capacity of 12 000 MW.

The government is negotiating the final stages of its first BOOT power sector project with the US company Intergen. The latter beat more than 50 competitors to win the contract for Sidi Krir. Details of the $400 million deal are due to be finalized by June.

The government is now anxious to move forward with more deals. Electricity authorities will offer contracts for three more power plants this year. The remaining 12 will be announced successively until 2005.

The 1998 offers will include a 650 MW project on the Gulf of Suez and a 150 MW plant near Koriamet.