Renewable energy has reached a capacity of 6,000 MW in Egypt in just a few years, according to Mohamed el-Khayat, Executive Chairman of the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA).
The energy policy of the Egyptian government is proving successful. A few years ago, the government set itself the objective of achieving 20% renewable energy in the Egyptian electricity mix. With less than a year to go before the deadline, the share of renewable energies in the electricity mix is increasing. By May 2019, it had reached 6,000 MW, according to Mohamed el-Khayat, Executive Chairman of the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA).
Egypt owes this growth to an open energy sector and to independent power producers (IPPs) who are currently joining the sector and signing power purchase agreements with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC). Of the 6,000 MW announced, 2,000 MW is produced from solar and wind energy. The remaining two thirds are mainly produced from hydroelectricity. This production capacity (6000 MW) is expected to increase as many solar and wind projects are underway in Egypt.
Among the major renewable energy projects underway in Egypt is the Benban solar complex, which is scheduled to come on stream in October 2019. On site, IPPs are accelerating the installation of solar panels, storage systems and electricity evacuation. Wind power projects are also on the agenda, particularly in the Gulf of Suez.
In April 2018, Lekela Power, a joint venture between the British investment fund Actis and the Irish company Mainstream Renewable Power, obtained approvals for the construction of a 250 MW wind farm at Ras Gharib in the Gulf of Suez. In its financing phase, the project received support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s corporate finance subsidiary, which is seeking to inject $82 million. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has also proposed to support the project with an almost equivalent investment of $81 million. Finally, the other proposal comes from Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic). The American financial institution also wants to support the project with $82 million.
At Ras Gharib, Lekela Power finds other PPIs such as the French Engie, the Japanese Toyota Tsusho Corporation and the Egyptian Orascom Construction. They are developing a $400 million project to install a 250 MW wind farm.
Jean Marie Takouleu