ACWA Power signs $1.15bn deal to develop one of the largest windfarms in the world

A consortium led by ACWA Power has announced the signing of a project agreement to develop a 1.1GW wind project in Egypt, at an investment value of $1.5bn. The consortium, comprising of ACWA Power and Hassan Allam Holding, will work together during the development phase to complete the site studies and secure the financing of the facility.

According to a statement, the wind project is the largest single contracted wind farm in the Middle East region, and is one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world. It is located the Gulf of Suez and Gabal el Zeit area.

The project will be designed to use state-of-art wind turbines with blade heights of up to 220m, which helps in achieving the best use of the designated land plots in the most efficient way. When complete, the project will mitigate the impact of 2.4mn tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year and provide electricity to 1,080,000 households, it continued.

“This milestone wind project falls within the framework of the Egyptian government’s strategy to diversify its energy sources and leverage the country’s rich natural resources, especially in renewable energy. The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy is taking concrete actions to ensure the resilience of our energy strategy, because of the escalating changes that the world is witnessing, which aim to increase the contribution of renewable energy to up to 42% by 2035,” said Dr. Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy.

He added the 1.1GW wind project confirms Egypt’s commitment in spearheading the use of renewable energy sources to reduce the impact of carbon emissions produced by conventional energy sources, as Egypt gears up to host the United Nations Climate Conference (COP 27) in November 2022.

The project is a leading example of the Egyptian government’s efforts to increase the participation of the private sector in implementing green energy projects in Egypt as well as attracting investments from international, Arab and local companies into the country, the minister said.

“We are honoured to contribute to the strengthening ties of Saudi Arabia, our home, and Egypt via this milestone wind project, and extend our sincerest gratitude to the leaders of both countries in entrusting their faith in our abilities to realise their renewable energy mandates,” said Mohammad Abunayyan, ACWA Power Chairman.

“With sustainable development at the top of the agenda for both states, progress cannot be made without concerted efforts in expanding infrastructure that is underpinned by renewables. This wind project demonstrates a commitment to realising a greener tomorrow, despite global economic volatility, and we look forward to working with like-minded partners for a positive future,”  he added.

This is ACWA Power’s third project—and first wind farm—in Egypt, after the 120MW Ben Ban solar independent power projects in the Aswan region and the 200MW Kom Ombo solar plant.

Hassan Allam Utilities, the investment and development arm for Hassan Allam Holding, currently operates a 50MW solar plant in Benban solar park cementing its position as one of Egypt’s leading green energy producers. The 1.1GW wind project is forecasted to reach financial close by the third quarter of 2024. The plant will be commercially operational by the end of 2026.

“The project marks an important milestone in Egypt’s plans to decarbonise the energy sector and meet its targets under the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). We are proud to be part of this flagship project and look forward to a fruitful partnership,” said Dalia Wahba, Deputy CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Hassan Allam Utilities.

“Egypt has embarked on a serious economic reform programme sending a clear invitation to the private sector to support in building a greener and brighter future. As a group, Hassan Allam Holding is committed to be a positive contributor to the environment. We are adopting sustainability principles and expanding our investments into large scale green energy projects,” she concluded.

In March 2022, Acwa Power broke ground on a 100MW wind facility in Uzbekistan, following which it inked a deal to develop a 700MW solar project in Saudi Arabia. In June, it inked a PPA with SPPC for $107mn solar PV plant.

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