Egypt's largest wind farm has been connected to the grid ahead of schedule, as the Arab world's most populous state looks to add more renewables to its energy mix.
The 262.5 megawatt Ras Ghareb wind energy project was completed 45 days ahead of schedule, with the 125-turbine wind farm connected to the grid and ready to operate last Thursday, 31 October.
The wind scheme — the largest in Egypt — was executed by a consortium of Orascom Construction (OC), Engie and Toyota Tsusho Corporation. It was developed via a build-own-operate scheme, with the power generated being sold to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company under a 20-year agreement.
Orascom, which executed the engineering, procurement and construction phases of the scheme, has a 20 per cent stake in the project.
Egypt is faced with rapidly-growing demand for both industrial and residential power use. The country meets more than half of its power needs from gas at 53 per cent, with oil accounting for 43 per cent of requirements. The government is prioritising adding renewables to the mix, with plans to raise capacity from clean sources to 20 per cent by 2020.
"This project highlights our construction and financing capabilities along with the successful collaboration with our international partners, financial institutions and the client," Orascom chief executive Osama Bishai said in a statement.
"We remain focused on expanding our portfolio of recurring income projects," he added.
Last week, Riyadh-based Acwa Power signed a power purchase agreement with the Egyptian government to operate a 200MW solar photovoltaic plant in the country.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Saudi company will develop, finance, construct and operate the Kom Ombo plant.