File Photo: An Egyptian wind power farm
Egypt inaugurated on Sunday the largest wind power station in the MENA region with a capacity of 200 megawatts (MW), located in Gabal Al-Zeit area, Red Sea governorate, the ministry of electricity and energy said in an e-mail statement.
The project’s cost is estimated at 270 million euros (roughly $286 million), financed through two loans from German KFW development bank, European Investment Bank, and a grant from EU Commission in Egypt.
The project will be able to generate an annual 800 million kilowatts/hour, the ministry said.
“The new station will help save 175,000 tons of equivalent oil that would be used to generate electricity from thermal power units,” Wael Salah, the chief engineer of the project said by phone, adding that the renewable energy sector aims to make up 20 percent of Egypt’s total produced power.
According to the ministry’s spokesperson Mohamed Al-Yamany, the project’s execution has taken around 30 months with the deal being signed in December 2008. He attributes the delay in implementation to the 2011 uprising and the subsequent developments.
Egypt has long suffered from an energy crunch that has been exacerbated in the past five years, leading to frequent electricity outages -particularly in the summer- prompted by fuel shortages.
The capacity of the national electricity grid currently stands at estimated 31,000 MW, Al-Yamany said.
Two weeks ago, Egypt signed a deal with Russia to construct a nuclear power plant in Dabaa west of Alexandria and south of the Mediterranean.
Each of the plant's four projected units will generate 1,200 MW. The construction is expected to be completed within 12 years.
In June, the Egyptian government signed 8 billion euros (roughly $8.5 billion) with renowned German industrial company Siemens to establish three high-efficiency natural gas power plants and wind power installations at a capacity of 16000 MW.