ACWA Power, a Saudi-listed company and the world’s largest private water desalination company, signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) to receive a plot of land for a 10 GW wind project in Egypt.
The agreement was signed at the headquarters of the Council of Ministers in the new city of El Alamein, between Mohamed El Khayat, Chairman of NREA, and Hassan Amin, Country Director – Egypt, ACWA Power. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Moustafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of Egypt; Mohamed Shaker, the Egyptian Minister of Electricity; Mazyad bin Muhammad Al-Huwaishan, Consul General of Saudi Arabia in Alexandria; Sabah Mashaly, Chairman of EETC; and Marco Arcelli, CEO, ACWA Power. This MoU marks the next step in the development of this large-scale renewable energy facility.
Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, stated: “Egypt has adopted an ambitious programme to advance the electricity sector in various fields, which includes maximising the utilisation of new and renewable energy resources, encouraging investment in these fields to enable energy independence from fossil fuels, continuing to reduce carbon emissions, and increasing renewable energy capacity in the energy mix up to 42% by 2035. This focus also aligns with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the National Climate Strategy 2050 with a view to mitigating the impact of climate change challenges and achieving sustainable economic growth. This project is also an extension of the historical relations between the Egyptian state and the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and reflects the bonds of fruitful and constructive cooperation between the two countries. We foresee that the positive contributions with financing institutions and development partners, as well as the comparative advantages of Egypt in terms of the availability of land, will show that Egypt has what it takes to produce renewable energy for domestic consumption and export.”
The MoU allocates approximately 3,000 square kilometres of land west of Sohag, an urban centre, for the project. The wind project is expected to generate around 50,000 GWh of clean energy annually, providing electricity to around 11 million households and mitigating the impact of 25.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
Commenting on the announcement, Marco Arcelli, CEO, ACWA Power, said: “Today’s signing furthers our commitment to driving sustainable development and powering Egypt’s future with clean, reliable, and renewable energy. We are determined to harness the vast potential of wind power, creating jobs, reducing emissions, and ensuring a greener and brighter future for Egypt, in alignment with ACWA Power’s vision for a sustainable planet.”
The 10 GW wind power plant is expected to provide the Egyptian economy with US$6.5 billion savings in annual natural gas costs, in addition to creating up to 120,000 job opportunities; in direct employment in the construction phase is estimated at 45,000 people, and around 75,000 people indirectly, in addition to adding about 2,500 jobs for the operation and maintenance phase after the completion.