Saudi Arabian energy developer, ACWA Power, has signed an agreement with the government of Egypt to develop a 1.1GW wind project in the Gulf of Suez and Gabal el Zeit area, at an investment value of US$1.5 billion.
ACWA Power will lead a consortium that includes Egypt’s Hassan Allam Holding in developing the project. The wind energy project is set to be the largest single contracted wind farm in the Middle East region, and one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world once completed.
Commenting during the signing ceremony, Dr. Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy said; “This milestone wind project falls within the framework of the Egyptian government’s strategy to diversify its energy sources and leverage the country’s rich natural resources, especially in renewable energy.
“The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy is taking concrete actions to ensure the resilience of our energy strategy, because of the escalating changes that the world is witnessing, which aim to increase the contribution of renewable energy to up to 42% by 2035.”
Egypt’s energy minister added that the 1.1GW wind project confirms the country’s commitment in spearheading the use of renewable energy sources, to reduce the impact of carbon emissions produced by conventional energy sources. The North African country is gearing up to host the United Nations Climate Conference (COP 27) in November 2022, the foremost international forum to discuss countries’ efforts in addressing climate change.
Growing portfolio of ACWA Power projects in Egypt
The wind energy project is ACWA Power’s third project in Egypt and first wind farm after the 120MW Ben Ban solar independent power projects in the Aswan region, and the 200MW Kom Ombo solar plant.
“We are honoured to contribute to the strengthening ties of Saudi Arabia, our home, and Egypt via this milestone wind project, and extend our sincerest gratitude to the leaders of both countries in entrusting their faith in our abilities to realise their renewable energy mandate,” said Mohammad Abunayyan, the Chairman at ACWA Power.
The project will be designed to use state-of-art wind turbines with blade heights of up to 220 metres, which helps in achieving the best use of the designated land plots in the most efficient way.
The 1.1GW wind project is forecasted to reach financial close by the third quarter of 2024. The wind energy facility is expected to be commercially operational by the end of 2026.
“The project marks an important milestone in Egypt’s plans to decarbonise the energy sector and meet its targets under the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). We are proud to be part of this flagship project and look forward to a fruitful partnership,” concluded Dalia Wahba, Deputy CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Hassan Allam Utilities.