Elsewedy banks on local winds blowing in business

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Less than a year after repositioning itself as a full-service electrical contractor, Egypt's

is going after a big chunk of the country's anticipated wind-power construction boom.

"The Egyptian market is slower than expected but it's coming," Hasan Salam, the head of the former cable specialist's new wind unit,

. "The government has now started to rush and is issuing some projects. ... It's picking up."

He said the firm would bid on all Egyptian wind projects offered on a build-own-operate basis, which is likely to be most of them.

"I think that the government will support us 100 per cent," he aded.

Mr Salam also said he sees strong business opportunities in Syria, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco - Arab countries lacking large oil and gas resources that are seeking to diversify their power sources and reduce their bills for fossil fuel imports.

New business from the MENA region could potentially make up for declining business from Europe's wind sector during the financial crisis that has engulfed the continent, helping Elsewedy for Wind Energy Generation (SWEG) to make good on its

from its three turbine factories within five years.

Earlier this month, Egypt's government

to develop a 1,000 megawatt wind farm as part of its programme to increase the contribution of renewable energy to 20 per cent of total installed power capacity by 2020.

Pic courtesy of Elsewedy