EGYPT: Lekela concludes fundraising for Ras Ghareb wind project

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Ras Gharib wind farm in Egypt© Luxerendering/Shutterstock

Independent power producer Lekela Power recently completed the closing of the fundraising for its West Bakr wind project in the locality of Ras Ghareb. The plant will produce 250 MW.

With the recent completion of a fundraising campaign, Lekela Power has just taken a new step forward in the implementation of its West Bakr wind project, located in the locality of Ras Ghareb. This independent power producer (IPP), a joint venture between the British investment fund Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power, has obtained financing for its project from several financial partners, including the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

With “Ras Ghareb Wind Farm” being our first project in Egypt, we have enjoyed working closely with our partners and other stakeholders, including the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and the New and Renewable Energy Authority, to achieve this goal. We see the great opportunity to invest in wind energy in Egypt, and we look forward to working in this country for many years,” says Lekela Power.

The construction entrusted to the German, Siemens

After the fundraising, Lekela Power will soon start construction of the Ras Ghareb wind farm. The Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract was awarded to the German company Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. It will install 96 of its SG 2.6-114 turbines. These will provide a total of 250 MW by 2021, a quantity of energy that will supply 350,000 Egyptian households. The contract provides that Siemens will maintain the installation over a period of 15 years.w

The electricity produced in Ras Ghareb will be sold to EETC, which is linked to Lekela by a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The Gulf of Suez wind is not only favourable for the operation of wind turbines, it is also favourable for migratory birds that leave Europe to spend the winter in Africa, in the Great Lakes region. Wind turbines could be a danger to them, and Lekela Power has taken this risk into account.

The IPP is planning to participate in a “shut down on demand” programme, which means that the turbines can be shut down as soon as birds are detected. Lekela Power also supports the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency’s Migratory Soaring Birds project. It is a training programme in the monitoring of migratory birds.

Jean Marie Takouleu 

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