Egypt to construct wind energy farm with UAE

Annelle Sheline
5 Min Read

CAIRO: Naeem Holding maintained a ‘buy’ status on El Sewedy status, reported Arab Finance, which expects to see wind segments contribute 5 percent of the company’s total revenues (LE 758.8 million) by next year.

Following Friday’s announcement by Electricity Minister Hassan Younes to construct a 200 MW capacity wind farm in cooperation with the UAE’s Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company at the Gulf of Suez, Naeem is looking to profit from El Sewedy cables, the only producer of wind equipment in Egypt.

The expected profits reflect the potential for wind energy to benefit Egypt, particularly in light of Egypt’s ability to produce wind turbine technology locally rather than paying to import it.

The country’s wind resources have drawn international attention following the successful inauguration and operation of wind farms in Zafrana. Europe in particular has eyed Egypt as a potential source of wind power, causing Denmark to partner with Egypt to produce a Wind Atlas, or map of the Egyptian territory coded according to wind speed.

The Atlas identifies areas along the Nile Delta, and in particular the northern Red Sea coast, as areas ideally suited for wind energy production.

The current wind farm at Zafrana was constructed with the cooperation of Denmark, Germany and Spain in 2001 for 360 MW capacity. Additional partnerships with Japan in 2008, as well as Denmark in 2009 will see Zafrana reach a total generation capacity of 545 MW, making it the largest wind farm in Africa and the Middle East.

For the new Gulf of Suez wind farm, coordination with the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company will begin following a feasibility study, Younis told reporters. at the Abu Dhabi for the World Future Energy Summit, held Jan. 18 to 21.

The wind farm will conduct operations under the BOO model, (buy, own and operate), by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC). Although touted as the country’s first private wind farm, the EETC is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Electricity.

In November 2009, 10 pre-qualified companies were short-listed for the BOO contract. At the time, Hafez El-Salmawy, managing director of the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency, explained that the EETC will buy the output of the wind farm under a 20 year to 25 year power purchase agreement.

The farm is scheduled to begin producing electricity by early 2014, in keeping with the ambitious goal to see 20 percent of Egypt’s electricity derived from renewable sources by 2020, and 12 percent from wind energy. In pursuance of its stated goal, the New Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) provides assessment, data and technical support for potential renewable energy project developers in the private sector.

Future projects include the Gabal El-Zeit wind farm, also on the Gulf of Suez, while an area of 700 square kilometers – characterized by wind speeds over 10 meters per second – has been laid aside for wind farms generating a total of 3000 MW, according to the Egyptian Wind Energy Association (EGWEA).

Despite the uninspiring outcome of the Copenhagen summit to propel a unified global policy to combat climate change, renewable energy enthusiasts gathered in Abu Dhabi for the World Future Energy Summit. Initiatives such as Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, an ecologically friendly and carbon neutral development/research hub, demonstrate commitment to pursuing non-fossil fuel based energy.

The recent dip in the cost of photovoltaic panels, used to store solar energy, represents hope for an industry that many saw as cost ineffective. However, according to Heinz Ossenbrink of the EU Energy Institute, recent figures show that costs are falling by 30 to 40 percent and cells are expected to last as much as ten years longer than previously thought.

“By 2020, solar panels in Europe are expected to be price-competitive with energy from the grid for about 50 percent of European homes – with no subsidy.

Once solar technologies become available at lower cost, Egypt stands to profit substantially from solar fuel as well.

Share This Article
Leave a comment