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Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Egypt could become home to one of the world’s largest wind farms

Tadawul-listed ACWA Power could build one of the world’s largest wind farms in Egypt as the Saudi renewable energy developer looks to build a 10-GW wind farm in Egypt after signing an MoU with Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) yesterday, the Saudi Energy Ministry said in a statement yesterday. The MoU was signed during a meeting in Riyadh between Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker and Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

The ACWA plant would be the second-largest wind farm in the world after the Gansu project in China, which has a planned capacity of 20 GW. For comparison, India’s largest wind farm ⁠— Jaisalmer ⁠— has a capacity of 1.6 GW while the 1.55 GW Alta Wind Energy Center in California is the biggest in the US. Egypt’s largest wind farm is the 545-MW facility in Zafarana.

What’s next: Egypt will provide land to conduct feasibility studies for the project ahead of the signing of final contracts, the statement said.

Two days, two wind farms: The news out of Saudi comes a day after Orascom Construction announced it had broken ground on the 500-MW Ras Ghareb wind farm it’s working on alongside Engie and Toyota Tsusho.

This isn’t the only large-scale wind project ACWA is looking at in Egypt: ACWA and Hassan Allam signed in June a 25-year power purchase agreement with the EETC to develop a 1.1 GW wind farm in the Gulf of Suez. The USD 1.5 bn project is expected to reach financial close by 4Q 2024 and begin commercial operations by the end of 2026.

Egypt has set itself an ambitious renewable energy target: Egypt is aiming to produce 42% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, a target announced during last year’s COP26 summit. This is five years earlier than its previous target.

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