* Government hoping to avoid summer blackouts
* Tender to supplement energy products donated by Saudi
* Raising energy prices could cause unrest
CAIRO, May 31 Egypt has launched a tender to
import hundreds of thousands of tonnes of petroleum products in
the third quarter of 2014, an energy official said on Saturday,
as the country tries to stave off a summer energy crisis.
Egypt's government wants to avoid major power blackouts
during the months of increased consumption in the summer, when
outages are worsened by a dilapidated grid and a wasteful
The tender comes in addition to supplies from Saudi Arabia,
which will deliver energy products to Egypt in July and August
as part of an aid package announced after the Egyptian army
overthrew Egypt's first freely elected president, the Islamist
An official from the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp (EGPC)
told Reuters that Egypt launched a tender on Thursday to import
90,000 tonnes of diesel each in July and August, and 120,000
tonnes of gasoline and 500,000 tonnes of diesel in September.
The tender would remain open until the first week of June,
the official said, declining to be named.
Saudi Arabia would give Egypt about 240,000 tonnes of
gasoline and 850,000 tonnes of diesel in July and August "as a
gift", he said.
The country has enjoyed strong support from Gulf Arab states
since the army deposed Mursi last year, whose Muslim Brotherhood
organisation they regard as a potent security threat to the
wider region and themselves.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
pledged more than $12 billion in loans and donations.
The head of the EGPC told Reuters in May that Egypt would
receive about $650 million to $700 million worth of petroleum
aid per month in August, totalling to more than $3 billion from
April to August.
Power cuts and long queues at petrol stations contributed to
widespread discontent with Mursi and sparked mass protests
against his rule before he was ousted in July by the then army
chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Sisi then stepped down from his post in the army and stood
in last week's presidential elections, winning with over 90
percent of the vote. But his landslide win has been undermined
by a low turnout, partly caused by an Islamist call for a
boycott of the poll.
Raising energy prices could cause more unrest in a country
where street protests helped bring down two presidents in three
years, but analysts say failing to reform the system will
inhibit economic growth.
(Reporting by Abdel Rahman Adel; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz;
Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)