Egypt In pursuit of a greener economy

Tuesday 15 Nov 2022

greener economy
greener economy

 

In addition to hosting COP27, Egypt finalised a number of deals that would help in its pursuit of a greener economy. The agreements would see the country expanding its renewables capacity and tapping the green hydrogen industry. This comes as part of Egypt’s Green Corridor initiative – a grid dedicated to renewable energy projects – and will contribute to Egypt’s goal of ensuring renewable energy which will make up 42 per cent of its energy mix by 2035.

The new to-be added capacities stood at 59.5 GW at the end of 2021. The country’s current renewable capacity is 3.4 GW.

Al-Ahram Weekly sheds light on the most important deals reached so far in COP27.

NWFE

Egypt’s Nexus of Water Food and Energy programme which is the government’s flagship initiative for receiving climate finance for green projects, has attracted $15 billion worth of investment pledges.

This includes the implementation of a major energy project at a cost of $10 billion, five projects for food security and agriculture, and three irrigation and water projects.

“These climate action projects include replacing existing inefficient thermal power plants with renewable energy, enhancing small farmers’ adaptation to climate risks, increasing crop yields, and irrigation efficiency, building the resilience of vulnerable regions, developing water desalination capacity, establishing early warning systems, and modernising on-farm practices,” the 

COP27 website said.

Wind energy

The UAE Masdar Company partnered with the local Infinity Power and Hassan Allam Utilities to build a 10-GW onshore wind farm in Egypt. The farm will be one of the world’s largest after the Gansu project in China which has a planned capacity of 20 GW. Currently, Egypt’s largest wind farm is the 545-MW facility in Zaafarana.

The new facility will offset 23.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to around nine per cent of Egypt’s current CO2 emissions. According to a joint statement by the co-owners of the project, using the power generated by the new facility would save Egypt an estimated $5 billion in annual natural gas costs, and help create as many as 100,000 jobs. Direct employment in the construction phase is estimated at around 30,000.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed on hand for the event.

The Norwegian renewable energy developer Scatec signed an MoU with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) which will see it conduct feasibility studies to set up a new wind farm with a 5 GW capacity.

Solar energy

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 

is providing $5.5 million to the local energy group TAQA Arabia to build and operate a 7-MW solar plant in Minya.

The new plant will generate 17 per cent of the power needed to operate ASCOM Carbonate and Chemicals Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Taqa Arabia, under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

Green hydrogen

The commissioning of the first phase of Egypt Green, Africa’s first integrated green hydrogen plant located in Ain Al-Sokhna started last week. The project is a joint venture between Norway’s Scatec and Fertiglobe which, in turn, is a joint venture between Egypt’s Orascom Construction, the UAE’s ADNOC and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE).  

It is powered by 260 MW of solar and wind and can deliver up to approximately 15,000 tonnes of green hydrogen as feedstock for the production of up to a total 90,000 tonnes of green ammonia a year in Fertiglobe’s existing ammonia plants.


*A version of this article appears in print in the 17 November, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.

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