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ACWA boosts Egypt’s renewable energy

Egypt has a role to play in developing the renewable energy capabilities of the Middle East, and, at the end of 2022, it was recorded that the country’s wind energy capacity reached 1.64 gigawatts.

With much more work to be done to catch up with other countries, the Saudi-Arabian energy firm ACWA Power is working on developing new energy infrastructure in the area alongside further great investments in sustainable energy and resource management.

ACWA Power, the world’s largest private water desalination company and a pioneer in green hydrogen, along with its status as a leader in energy transition, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) in Egypt. This agreement establishes the allocation of land for a significant 10 GW wind project.

The MoU was officially signed at the Council of Ministers headquarters in the newly developed city of El Alamein. Dr. Mohamed El Khayat, Chairman of NREA, and Eng. Hassan Amin, Country Director – Egypt, ACWA Power, participated in the signing ceremony.

Speaking on this subject of Egypt’s energy sector transition is HE Dr Mohamed Shaker Al-Marqabi, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, who says:

“Egypt has adopted an ambitious program to advance the electricity sector in various fields, which includes maximizing the utilization of new and renewable energy resources, encouraging investment in these fields to enable energy independence from fossil fuels, continuing to reduce carbon emissions, and increasing renewable energy capacity in the energy mix up to 42% by 2035.”

A grand presence as organizations sign a wind energy agreement

Distinguished guests present at the event included HE Dr Moustafa Madbouly, the Prime Minister of Egypt; HE Dr Mohamed Shaker, the Egyptian Minister of Electricity; Mr Mazyad bin Muhammad Al-Huwaishan, Consul General of Saudi Arabia in Alexandria; Eng. Sabah Mashaly, Chairman of EETC; and Marco Arcelli, CEO of ACWA Power. The MoU represents a significant milestone in the progress of this large-scale renewable energy venture.

The MoU designs approximately 3,000 square kilometers of land situated west of Sohag, a prominent urban centre, for the wind project. The expected output of this wind project is about 50 thousand gigawatt-hours of clean energy annually, which will provide electricity to around 11 million households. Additionally, this initiative will help mitigate approximately 25.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

The 10 GW wind power plant is expected to yield substantial economic benefits for Egypt. These include an estimated US$6.5bn in annual savings on natural gas costs, as well as the creation of up to 120,000 job opportunities. During the construction phase alone, approximately 45,000 individuals are projected to be directly employed, with an additional 75,000 people benefiting indirectly. Furthermore, the operation and maintenance phase following completion is expected to generate around 2,500 jobs.

“We are determined to harness the vast potential of wind power, creating jobs, reducing emissions, and ensuring a greener and brighter future for Egypt, in alignment with ACWA Power’s vision for a sustainable planet,” says Marco Arcelli, CEO of ACWA Power.

ACWA Power already has a significant presence in Egypt, with three other projects in various stages of development. These include a 120 MW solar PV project in Benban, a 200 MW solar PV facility in Kom Ombo, and the 1.1 GW Suez Wind Energy project. The company has been active in Egypt since 2015, and this new wind project further demonstrates its commitment to renewable energy development in the country.

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