Talks between Suez Cement (SCGC) and Egyptian authorities remain ongoing to ensure the continued financial viability of the SCGC’s Wind Farm project, Managing Director Bruno Carré told Daily News Egypt.
“The issue is that because of its history and size, our project doesn’t qualify for the feed-in tariff, and it is not part of the auction project,” Carré elaborated.
The company, which is part of Italcementi Group, is currently holding discussions with the Egyptian government to reach specific terms that could help in reaching a solution. This would then help the company present the project to banks, which would provide financing for the project.
According to Carré, negotiations have been ongoing with the government since the Economic Summit that was held last March in Sharm El-Sheikh.
“It’s a complex issue and it’s not moving as rapidly as we wanted,” Carré said.
Carré emphasised, however, that the slow progress is understandable, noting that, on the one hand, the Ministry of Electricity is proactive in ensuring the project happens, as it will help in electricity production. However, the ministry also has to bear in mind the economic balances, and will need to consider the Wind Farm project in relation to other projects, Carré added.
In January, Carré told Daily News Egypt that a total of €150m has been allocated towards the Wind Farm project’s first phase, which is expected to produce 120 MW of power once complete. This will be enough energy to cover 40% of the SCGC’s power needs, whilst also reducing the company’s carbon dioxide emissions. Subsequent phases are set to boost power generation to 400 MW.
At the time, Carré said: “We are confident we will see the project come online in 2016.”
Suez Cement describes itself as “one of the largest cement producers in Egypt”, and owns five production facilities located in Helwan, Minya, Suez, Kattameya and Tora.
Last year, the company converted two of its facilities to use coal as an alternative energy source. The company is expecting to convert another two factories to coal-usage, although the date of conversion has yet to be defined.