Acwa Power to build 10-gigawatt wind farm in Egypt

The Riyadh-based utility has three renewable energy projects under development in the North African country

Egypt's largest wind farm produces 545 megawatts of energy. Victoria Hazou / The National
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Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power has signed an initial agreement to build a 10-gigawatt wind farm in Egypt, which could be the world's second-largest wind farm.

The Riyadh-based utility signed the preliminary agreement with the north African country's New and Renewable Energy Authority and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company on Tuesday, the Saudi Energy Ministry said.

Egypt's Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohammed Shaker met Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on an official visit to discuss co-operation between the two countries in the fields of electricity and renewable energy.

The value of the project was not disclosed and the final agreements will be dependent on feasibility studies, as well as the availability of land, the Saudi Energy Ministry said.

The agreement comes days before the UN's Cop27 climate summit takes place in Sharm El Sheikh from November 6 to November 18.

Egypt aims to increase its renewable energy sources to 42 per cent by 2035, from about 11 per cent in 2019.

Acwa Power develops, invests in and operates power generation and desalinated water plants. It currently has 67 projects in operation or under construction with an investment value of more than $66.5 billion in 13 countries across Asia and Africa.

It aims to increase its power-generating capacity from 43 gigawatts to 120 gigawatts over the next decade.

The company already has two solar energy projects and another wind farm project planned in Egypt.

Its three solar photovoltaic power plants in Aswan's Benban Solar Park, with a combined capacity of 120 megawatts and a total investment value of $185 million, started operations in 2019.

Its 200-megawatt Kom Ombo solar plant, also in Aswan, is set to be operational in the third quarter of 2023. It is expected to provide power to 130,000 households and offset 280,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

An Acwa-led consortium that includes Egypt-based Hassan Allam Holding signed a $1.5bn agreement in June for a 1.1-gigawatt wind project in the Gabal El Zeit area in the Red Sea's Gulf of Suez.

Once operational by the end of 2026, the plant will be capable of powering more than a million homes while offsetting about 2.4 million tonnes of emissions annually, Acwa said.

Earlier this week, Egypt's Orascom Construction, Toyota's trading arm Toyota Tsusho and French multinational utility Engie broke ground on a 500MW wind farm in Ras Ghareb close by.

Currently, Egypt's largest wind farm, which produces 545MW, is in Zafarana, also in the Ras Ghareb area.

The world's largest wind project is the Gansu project in China, which has a planned capacity of 20 gigawatts.

Updated: November 02, 2022, 11:57 AM