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  • EGYPT: 2 GW of solar power soon, and country achieves COP21 goals
  • CAMEROON: Funding for Nachtigal hydroelectric power plant (420 MW) complete
  • TANZANIA: Arab Contractors and Elsewedy to build Stiegler’s Gorge dam
  • ANGOLA: Qway Energy and Thueia LDA will produce 500 MW of renewable energy
  • Moi Airport to be solar-powered
  • AFRICA: GCF funds $110 million climate change adaptation programme
  • Flower farm fleet goes green with electric cars
  • NIGER: Gourou Banda solar park project in Niamey will be financed by AFD
  • EASTERN AFRICA: GRMF finance 7 geothermal projects with a total of $28 million
  • MOROCCO: €739 million of foreign investment in renewable energy
  • MALAWI: 600 farmers get a solar-powered irrigation system
  • Tanzania: Rural Energy Programme Lights 227 Villages in Simanjiro
  • SIERRA LEONE: IFC finances 50 MW solar project
  • BURUNDI: CMC and Orascom to build two 49.5 MW hydroelectric power plants
  • Africa’s first V136-4.2MW turbines hit South Africa
  • DRC signs joint deal with developers for Inga 3 project
  • UGANDA: Country wants to produce 100 MW of geothermal energy by 2025
  • Soventix to build 22MW solar plant in Zimbabwe with community ownership scheme
  • Meeco and Groupe Filatex partner on solar and hybrids in Madagascar
  • Mali: 50MW solar PV farm reaches financial close
  • Construction of 165 MW Olkaria V geothermal plant in Kenya nearing completion
  • Uganda commissions 20MW solar power plant
  • EGYPT: Engie, Orascom and Toyota to supply 250 MW of wind power by 2020

  • EGYPT: 2 GW of solar power soon, and country achieves COP21 goals

    The French energy company Voltalia announced on November 8, 2018, the launch of construction work on a 32 MW solar power plant in Egypt. The electricity produced by the Ra Solar power plant will bring Egypt's installed solar capacity to 2 GW. The country will thus achieve its objectives with regard to COP 21. The announcement made by Voltalia, certainly sparked a relief within the Egyptian government. Present at the Africa Investments Forum (an event dedicated to business opportunities on the African continent in different fields) held in Paris on November 8, 2018, Voltalia declared that it had begun construction work on Ra Solar: a 32-megawatt solar power plant located in the Ben Ban complex (the largest solar complex in the world, with a capacity of 1.8 gigawatts), in Aswan, a city located 843 kilometres from Cairo. The commissioning of the Ra Solar power plant, scheduled for the second half of 2019, will contribute to the achievement of the objectives that Egypt set itself in 2015, within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP21. Indeed, Egypt’s strategic energy plan aims to develop 4.3 gigawatts of renewable capacity, including 2 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity. In addition, increasing the production capacity of the Ben Ban solar complex will prevent the emission of two million tonnes of CO2 per year, while improving access to cheap, green energy in Egypt.

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    CAMEROON: Funding for Nachtigal hydroelectric power plant (420 MW) complete

    The French electricity company EDF announces that it has signed binding and final agreements for the construction of the Nachtigal dam in Cameroon. Work should therefore begin before the end of 2018, with operational commissioning scheduled for 2023. Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD), dedicated to the private sector, signed a 150 million euro loan agreement with Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC) on November 8, 2018. The financing is for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of a 420-megawatt run-of-river hydroelectric power plant on the Sanaga River at the Nachtigal Falls, located 65 km northeast of Yaoundé, the Cameroonian capital. The Nachtigal project also includes the construction of a 50 km power transmission line to the Nyom 2 transformer station north of Yaoundé. When commissioned in 2023, the plant will produce more than 2,900 gigawatts per year, or nearly 30% of the country’s electricity production. The NHPC will sell the electricity during its 35 years of operation to the operator Eneo (the national production and distribution company, Proparco’s partner since 2006) via a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) at a competitive price, for the benefit of Cameroonian consumers.

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    TANZANIA: Arab Contractors and Elsewedy to build Stiegler’s Gorge dam

    The Egyptian company Arab Contractors has won the contract to build the 2,100 MW Stiegler's Gorge hydroelectric dam. It will carry out the mega project in partnership with Elsewedy Electric Company, another Egyptian company. The Egyptian president suggested that the construction would be carried out in such a way that the Stiegler’s Gorge dam would be the pride of Egypt and Tanzania. “The Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectric project will end the country’s electricity problems, support local industries by providing them with electricity and enable the surplus to be sold abroad,” said Medard Kalemani, Tanzania’s Minister of Energy. With a capacity of 2,100 MW, the Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectric dam will be one of the largest in the East African sub-region, or even in Africa. It will be built on the Rufiji River. Its water reservoir will be 100 km long and cover an area of 1,350 km2. The height of the dam will be approximately 134 m. The government will invest more than $3.6 billion to build the large dam. The cost is widely criticised by Tanzanian politicians, given that the government’s budget for 2018-2019 is only $14 billion.

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    ANGOLA: Qway Energy and Thueia LDA will produce 500 MW of renewable energy

    Qway Energy, a Belgian company, has announced plans to produce 500 MW of renewable energy with its Angolan partner Thueia LDA. The energy will be produced mainly from the sun. Slowly but surely, Angola is turning its back on “all oil”, to gradually focus on renewable energies. In concrete terms, the Belgian company Qway Energy will produce 500 MW of renewable energy in the coming years. To this end, it will rely on a local company, Thueia LDA, which specialises in waste management. By 2020, the Belgian company will build large photovoltaic solar parks. “Our objective is to produce 250 to 300 MW of photovoltaic energy. As this is a new country (for Qway Energy) and photovoltaics is still new for Angola, we are taking a cautious approach by planning to start work in the second quarter of 2020,” said Luc Graré, founder of Qway Energy, to our PV Magazine peers. However, the Belgian company is not only focusing on solar energy. Qway Energy also plans to produce energy from the wind, i.e. through wind farms, and the company also suggests that it will collaborate with Thueia, which manages waste in Angola. The objective here is to recover the waste to produce electricity.

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    Moi Airport to be solar-powered

    Moi International Airport in Mombasa will get the region’s first ground-mounted 500kW solar system, which will be interconnected to the its terminal grid. The system, to be installed by Solarcentury East Africa, is expected to generate 820,000 kWh per year and offset 1,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The firm is expected to install airport gate electrification equipment consisting of a mobile electric-powered preconditioned air unit, an electric converter and a backup battery that will provide uninterrupted power. Director of Solarcentury East Africa Guy Lawrence said the project also entails the addition of ground power units (GPUs) to enable arriving aircraft to offset all their carbon emissions on the ground. The electricity generated from the solar photovoltaic panels will power the gate equipment, which will supply pre-conditioned air and compatible electric power to aircraft docked at an existing passenger boarding bridge or parked at a remote stand. They will eliminate existing carbon emissions from the aircraft on-board auxiliary power unit powered by jet fuel and from the GPUs fuelled by diesel, by providing pre-conditioned air and compatible electricity that runs on solar energy to the aircraft during ground operations.

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    AFRICA: GCF funds $110 million climate change adaptation programme

    The African Development Bank (AfDB) announced that the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved three financing proposals for climate resilience projects. With a total amount of $110 million, the loans and grants will have an impact on several countries in Africa. Africa is one of the continents most affected by climate change in the world. It can be observed in particular through desertification, of which the extension of the Sahara is the most significant development. In less than 100 years, the desert found in North Africa has increased by 10% of its surface area. An alarming signal among many others, which prompted the African Development Bank (AfDB) to launch the Integrated Programme for Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Niger Basin (dubbed Pidacc/BN in French). In this context, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) recently validated the financing of up to US$ 110 million for three climate resilience projects submitted by the AfDB. The Pidacc/BN share will amount to $67.8 million. More specifically, it is a grant of $57.8 million and a concessional loan of $10 million. The programme will cover nine countries: Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Mali, Guinea and Cameroon.

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    Flower farm fleet goes green with electric cars

    Away from the limelight, a flower firm in Naivasha is quietly deploying green energy solutions in its operations, including use of electric cars. Oserian flower farm has deployed 16 electric trucks to ferry flowers on its expansive farm as it seeks to be the industry leader in the use of green technology. Sourced from Netherlands, the vehicles are charged using electricity generated from its two 3.2MW geothermal power plants. They are helping reduce use of fossil fuel trucks to transport millions of flower stems it harvests every year from the field to its pack house, where they are wrapped before export. “Our goal is to use natural solutions for a greener, safer environment. We have reduced the use of diesel on the farm and we are investing heavily in biological solutions to deal with pests and diseases,” says Human Resources and Administration Director Mary Kinyua. The firm says its green initiatives have seen it cut diesel usage on its premises by 80 per cent. It now uses 80,000 litres of diesel a year down from 400,000 litres.

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    NIGER: Gourou Banda solar park project in Niamey will be financed by AFD

    Marcel Escure, the French Ambassador to Niger, recently announced that AFD would finance the construction of the Gourou Banda solar power plant. Located in the city of Niamey, it will be able to supply 20 MW to the national grid. Niger’s major cities, such as Niamey or Arlit, are still experiencing blackouts. The country is very sunny, which is a great advantage for generating electricity. The government has therefore initiated the project to build a solar power plant in Gorou Banda, in Commune V of Niamey, the capital. The French ambassador was recently received in audience by the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou. At the end of the interview, he announced that the French Development Agency (AFD) would support Gourou Banda’s solar project. Marcel Escure did not provide details on the terms of funding but the French diplomat suggested that an agreement should be signed between the Nigerien government and AFD. It will be followed by a call for tenders for the construction of the power plant with a maximum capacity of 20 MW. Its construction will cost 35 billion CFA francs, or 70 million dollars.

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    EASTERN AFRICA: GRMF finance 7 geothermal projects with a total of $28 million

    Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) is providing $28 million in funding to seven geothermal projects in East Africa. Located in three different countries, these projects were selected from among the nine still in the running in the fifth round of the review of GRMF grant applications. The market for geothermal energy production is currently very dynamic in most countries of the Rift Valley in East Africa. As a result, in the fifth round of the Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility (GRMF) grant review, seven projects were finally selected by GRMF, the organisation responsible for promoting geothermal energy in East Africa. They are located in Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. The decision follows a call for expressions of interest issued on March 26, 2018. During the prequalification workshop, which took place on the 4th of June 2018, nine projects were still in the running. Finally, seven of them will receive funding, for a total of $28 million. The money will be used to conduct surface studies and drilling programs.

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    MOROCCO: €739 million of foreign investment in renewable energy

    The Moroccan government announces a solar and wind rush. Close to 8 billion dirhams, or 739 million euros, of foreign investment from Western powers and the Middle East are flowing in to support projects in the renewable energy sector. “For us, Morocco is the gateway to Africa,” said Abdulla Falah Abdulla Al-Dosari, Qatar’s ambassador to Morocco. Present in Casablanca on October 24, 2018, at the opening of the Elec Expo Forum, the Qatari diplomat said that companies in his country are seeking to establish joint ventures with major Moroccan groups in the field of energy. The sectors targeted by foreign Moroccan joint ventures are: solar, wind and energy efficiency. For example, the additional wind energy needs that remain to be installed are estimated at 7 GW, whereas the continent can only produce 1 GW today. “We have the opportunity to take up this challenge,” said Abderrahim El Hafidi, Director General of the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (Onee). With that in mind, the national programmes will involve an additional capacity for electricity production from renewable sources of about 10,100 MW, including 4,560 MW from solar, 4,200 MW from wind and 1,330 MW from water, which will reduce the Kingdom’s energy dependence from 94% to less than 82% in 2030.

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    MALAWI: 600 farmers get a solar-powered irrigation system

    Japan's Sharp has recently provided an irrigation system to 600 farmers in Malawi. Equipped with a solar pump, the device is installed on the Shire River in the south of the country. In the town of Lilangwe, Blantyre County, farmers will henceforth be able to do without the old methods. The Japanese company Sharp, in partnership with the Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (FISD), has recently provided an innovative irrigation system, which operates with an electric pump directly connected to a solar mini-grid. The small power grid, which operates the pump installed in the Shire River, has a 255 W capacity. It is composed of 120 polycrystalline Sharp solar panels, installed by Seine Tech. Funding for the project was provided by Millennium Challenge Account Malawi (MCA-Malawi), a government agency. “Currently, nearly 450 farmers own portions of land here, but our goal is to reach the number of 600 producers spread over 50 hectares. As the FISD, we are aware that by equipping communities in this way, we provide them with alternative sources of income, and prevent them from overexploiting natural resources,” explains the FISD.The implementation of the irrigation system, which runs on solar energy, is part of the National Environment and Natural Resources Management (ENRM) project. It is a government programme for which Malawi has allocated a budget of nearly $28 million.

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    Tanzania: Rural Energy Programme Lights 227 Villages in Simanjiro

    Simanjiro — Villagers in 25 villages in Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, have now access to electricity after the Rural Energy Agency (REA) connected hundreds of households in 227 suburbs. The Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) district manager, Mr Jaston Bayasabe, revealed this during the councilors' meeting held on Friday, last week. He said the programme started in June, this year, and will be complete by December, next year, whereby thousands of households will be connected. He said 60 villages in Simanjiro District have had no access to electricity since the country became independent. "Nearly half of villages in Simanjiro have already been connected with electricity and we are planning to make sure that the project is reaching them," he said.

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    SIERRA LEONE: IFC finances 50 MW solar project

    The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a corporate subsidiary of the World Bank, will support a solar project in Sierra Leone through a $40 million funding that will generate 50 MW of electricity within one or two years. Negotiations on the financing of the project began in May 2018 at the annual meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB), which was held in South Korea. The project then attracted the attention of the IFC, whose objective is to finance projects carried out by private companies. The 50 MW project is being carried out by Planet Solar Energy. The company wants to produce 25 MW at a power plant to be built in Makarie Gbanti, Bombali District, 195 km from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. The remaining 25 MW will be produced from several mini-hydro plants located in the localities of Kambia, Portloko, Kamakwi, Kono, Mile 91, Moyamba, Pujehun, Bo, Kailahun and Bonthe. Planet Solar Energy has between 18 and 24 months to complete the work. The energy produced will be sold according to a price negotiated between the company, the Ministries of Finance and Energy, and then validated by Parliament. For example, the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority will pay 8 cents for each kilowatt.

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    BURUNDI: CMC and Orascom to build two 49.5 MW hydroelectric power plants

    Regideso, the public company in charge of water and electricity distribution in Burundi, has announced that two companies will build; the Jiji and Mulembwe hydroelectric power plants, about 100 km from the capital, Bujumbura. The companies involved are the Muratori e Cementisti Cooperative (CMC), an Italian company, and Orascom, Egyptian holding company. “We have signed a contract with a group of two companies, Italian and Egyptian, for the construction of two hydroelectric power plants in Jiji and Mulembwe.” Declared Siméon Habonimana, General Manager of Regideso, the main public company in charge of water and electricity distribution. The companies concerned are the Muratori e Cementisti Cooperative (CMC) and Orascom. The Jiji and Mulembwe hydroelectric project will produce 49.5 MW that will help reduce Burundi’s energy deficit by providing energy to 76,000 people. Priority will be given to local populations.

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    Africa’s first V136-4.2MW turbines hit South Africa

    Enel Green Power has awarded Vestas a 294MW order of V136-4.2 MW turbines, delivered in 4.2MW Power Optimised Mode, for two projects in South Africa. The projects consist of 147MW each and debut the V136-4.2MW in the South African market and will feature the largest Vestas rotor diameters in Africa to date. The two wind parks, Karusa and Soetwater, are both located at the Western Cape Province and will feature 35 turbines each with a hub height of 82 meters. Leveraging the 4.2MW Power Optimised Mode for the sites’ medium-speed wind conditions, the V136-4.2MW will boost performance and increase annual energy production. As part of delivering the projects, the company will create local wind energy jobs, fulfilling the local requirements for local content, skills development and socio-economic development initiatives. “We are very dedicated to making a difference in South Africa and contribute to enhancing socio-economic growth and sustainable educational development. "We are doing so by procuring locally produced towers, contracting local transport companies and supporting community school programmes through our own initiative, the Vestas Empowerment Trust,” said Nils de Baar, President of Vestas Northern & Central Europe.

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    DRC signs joint deal with developers for Inga 3 project

    The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has announced a $14 billion joint and exclusive development agreement with a consortium of Chinese and European developers to construct the Inga 3 hydroelectric dam. The Chinese consortium is led by China Three Gorges, alongside a European consortium, led by Actividades de Construcción y Servicios (ACS) of Spain. Earlier designs of the Inga 3 hydroelectric project, set to generate nearly 5GW in installed capacity, have already been subject to multiple revisions. The project proponents recently suggested further revisions to the project design to produce up to 11GW of power, which would require significant additional infusions of capital for engineering redesigns, project feasibility studies and mitigation measures.

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    UGANDA: Country wants to produce 100 MW of geothermal energy by 2025

    Uganda is one of the East African countries with strong geothermal potential. The real challenge is obviously in exploitation, but the government is now showing its ambition which is to produce 100 MW of the renewable energy by 2025. Thanks to the great Rift Valley in East Africa, several countries in the region have enormous geothermal potential, often untapped. This is the case in Uganda, which is in great need of energy to support economic growth and keep industries running. According to the Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, electricity needs are growing by an average of 8% each year. The country’s production capacity is currently capped at 893 MW, while, according to the same source, Uganda has a geothermal potential of 1,500 MW. Its massive exploitation could double the country’s installed capacity and diversify the energy mix, which currently reveals an over-reliance on hydroelectricity and thermal power plants. However, the Ugandan government has not yet reached that point. It has set a target of at least 100 MW of production by 2025 and could succeed since several private producers are already carrying out drilling in several regions.

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    Soventix to build 22MW solar plant in Zimbabwe with community ownership scheme

    A subsidiary of German developer Soventix has bagged a contract to build one of the largest solar PV projects in Zimbabwe standing at 22MW. This month, Soventix South Africa will start constructing the Harava project across 40 hectares of land in the Bwoni Village, Seke Rural District which is located South West of the city of Harare. The project is being funded by Botswana-based clean energy investor and IPP Invest Solar Africa limited. Local villagers will own 10% of the project through a Community Development Share Ownership Trust. The fixed-tilt PV project will include 66,528 solar modules and 192 string inverters, and would have an approximate energy generation capacity of 40GWh per year. Energy costs in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia are high, while businesses do not have reliable power supply, giving strong opportunities for solar deployment.

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    Meeco and Groupe Filatex partner on solar and hybrids in Madagascar

    Swiss-headquartered firm Meeco has signed a cooperation agreement with Malagasy company Groupe Filatex to build solar projects in Madagascar, starting with two large-scale projects of 7MW and 8MW capacity and one hybrid solar-diesel project comprising of two 500kW parts. Groupe Filatex runs several industry divisions in Madagascar and is one of the leading energy producers through its subsidiary ENELEC, while Meeco has been active in solar projects around the world. According to a Meeco blog, just 4% of the island's rural population has access to energy, causing troubles with economic development and healthcare. “We are glad and honoured about the cooperation with the renowned, internationally experienced and dedicated Malagasy business partner Groupe Filatex. Together, we strive to contribute to the expansion of clean energy in Madagascar and to establish a reliable energy supply for the population,” said Sebastian Bovensiepen, CEO of the meeco Group.

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    Mali: 50MW solar PV farm reaches financial close

    Global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright, has successfully closed the financing facilities on a 50MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Sikasso, Mali for the first French green Independent Power Producer, Akuo Energy. The Kita solar farm is its first project to begin construction in Africa and is the largest in West Africa, according to a company statement. The project has been in development by Akuo Energy since 2014, with Norton Rose Fulbright advising on the transaction since July 2016. Head of Banking and Finance at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa, Jackie Midlane, who led on the transaction, said: “We are proud to have played a key role in the region’s most high-profile, innovative transactions.”

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    Construction of 165 MW Olkaria V geothermal plant in Kenya nearing completion

    With the arrival of the generator/ turbine in Kenya, the construction of the 165 MW Olkaria V geothermal power plant is nearing a critical stage. Commissioning of the plant is expected for July 2019. News from Kenya report that with two generator units, each weighing 130 metric tonnes, having departed the Port of Mombasa in Kenya yesterday, the construction of the 165.4 MW Olkaria V Geothermal Power Plant by KenGen is nearing completion. Development is 75 percent complete and on-schedule, so KenGen’s Managing Director and CEO, Mrs Rebecca Miano. As soon as the generator units arrive at Olkaria, they will be loaded onto a 9-metre-high reinforced concrete platform called a deck using a specialized mobile hoist by a sub-contracted company from the UK. On ground, both platforms are ready to receive the generators and the hoisting team is in place, having assembled the powerhouse crane and specialised hoisting system. The hoisting and positioning of each generator unit will take approximately 3 days with preparations before hoisting arrival for each taking a minimum of one week.

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    Uganda commissions 20MW solar power plant

    Uganda has commissioned a solar plant in its central region, that is expected to add 20MW to the national grid by November. The plant, commissioned September 27 in Gomba district, is the second in the country after the one in Soroti, which came on board in December 2016, and is producing 10MW. Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, who commissioned it, said the government is focusing on renewable energy to boost its ambitious hydroelectricity power generation. Two mega hydropower dams at Karuma (600MW) and Isimba (183MW) which are nearing completion, are expected to push the country’s energy pool to over 1,600MW. David Alobo, the managing director of Xsabo Group, which is behind the development, said the company’s choice of renewable energy was based on attracting foreign direct investment.

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    EGYPT: Engie, Orascom and Toyota to supply 250 MW of wind power by 2020

    Egyptian Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker announced that an agreement has been reached with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to build a wind farm in Ras Ghareb, near the western shore of the Gulf of Suez in the north east of the country. The investment required to complete the project is $400 million. The agreement paves the way for the construction of the facility, which will have a capacity of 250 MW. Three companies were selected in a competitive bidding process launched by Egyptian Electricity Transmission Co. (EETC), the company responsible for the transmission and distribution of electricity. These are the French Engie, the Japanese Toyota Tsusho Corporation and the Egyptian Orascom Construction. The project will be carried out on the basis of a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with EETC. The rate will be negotiated when the wind farm is commissioned, which will take place by 2020. Mohamed Shaker, said the construction of the wind farm is part of the plans of the Ministry of Electricity to increase renewable energy production. The objective is to reach 20% of the energy mix by 2022, and 42% by 2035. For Orascom Construction, the project is the first independent renewable energy power generation project of this type and size in Egypt. In the long run, EETC would like to extend it to 500 MW.

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