(Bloomberg) -- Egypt has allocated $1.18 billion for extra energy imports as it seeks to eliminate scheduled power cuts before the end of July and tackle an issue that’s causing misery for millions as temperatures soar.

The funds will be used to import 300,000 tons of heavy fuel oil and other energy needs, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said Tuesday in a televised address, without elaborating. More may be needed depending on the severity of the summer heat, he said.

Egypt, a mostly desert country that’s heating up at one of the world’s fastest rates, saw temperatures in Cairo recently surpass 40C (104F) on some days. Soaring demand for cooling is piling pressure on the power grid, and authorities — who recently agreed a $57 billion bailout — are being forced into their highest imports of liquefied natural gas since 2018. That marks a turnaround for a country that previously exported LNG to Europe.

Electricity cuts, which began last year and were officially increased in some parts of Egypt this week to three hours a day from two, will begin to be reduced from July 1, according to Madbouly. The aim is for them to be eliminated entirely by the third week of the month, he said.

The premier also said retail stores across the Middle East’s most populous nation, where many shop into the night, will close from 10 p.m. starting on July 1, in a bid to conserve energy.

--With assistance from Abdel Latif Wahba.

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