Egypt, one of the largest economy of the MENA countries has always been in need of energy resources unlike its neighbours of across the Red Sea.  It has lately started the production of its off-shore gas in its territorial waters of the Mediterranean Sea.  It remains unclear as to whether the off-shore and renewable energy programmes have been concurrently incepted.  In any case, “Egypt targets to achieve 40% of renewables share in its energy mix by 2035,” as per an Egyptian official close to the Renewable Energy Departments.

The project of a wind farm inception date presumably back to the first decade of the 2000s.  It is a ‘blending operation’, that combined EU funding with local funds and loans provided by European Financing Institutions.

The construction of a wind farm of up to 200 MegaWatts on the West bank of the Gulf of Suez has the fundamental objective to improve and widen access to electricity for the Egyptians, while  ensuring reduction of CO2 emissions all at reasonable costs.

The brief specifics of the project were to develop a wind farm of up to 200 MW in the Gulf of El Zayt through the use of 100 wind turbines installed increasing the overall installed capacity from wind energy sources in Egypt by 35%.

It is currently undergoing all commissioning and testing operations with the project completion scheduled for 2018. 

Yesterday Egypt’s Minister of Electricity Energy inaugurated the Gulf of ElZayt Wind Farm, setting a massive precedent for renewable power development in the region.


Gulf of El-Zayt wind farm inaugurated

Posted by: Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl on 1st December 2015 on ESI AFRICA

Egypt windfarmThe wind farm will increase Egypt’s wind capacity by 35% and will reduce carbon emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year.

The wind farm will increase Egypt’s wind capacity by 35% and will reduce carbon emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year.

On Sunday, one of the largest wind farms in Africa, with 100 turbines and a total capacity of 200MW, was inaugurated in Egypt’s Gulf of El-Zayt, reported EFE news. The project, which cost $359 million is financed by the EU, KfW and European Investment Bank.

The EU contributed $32 million to the project, and the European Investment Bank invested $53 million – whilst the project’s main donor KfW, the German Development Bank, invested $203 million.

The wind farm project has the capacity to generate up to 800GW per year, which is sufficient to supply around 500,000 people with electricity. The development also contributes to preventing 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

European technical and economic support

The project is part of the Egyptian government’s plans to encourage renewable energy to control fuel shortages and diversify energy sources, with technical and economic support from Europe.

EU ambassador to Egypt, James Moran, who inaugurated the plant along with Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker, said: “The wind farm in the Gulf of El Zeit is a leading source of renewable energy that will help bolster Egypt’s economy, create jobs and reduce pollution from greenhouse gases.”

Moran added: “The new wind farm will increase Egypt’s wind capacity by 35% and will reduce carbon emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year.”

According to a statement released by the EU, Egypt has great potential in the field of solar and wind power. The development of these resources is fundamental to solving the country’s energy crisis, and to limiting pollution especially in populated areas of the Nile Delta and Cairo.

Another wind farm is also being developed with European funding in the Gulf of Suez, northeast of Cairo, which will be ready in 2016, reported EFE news.

EU and Egypt continued relations

In further news, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and the Deputy Director General of the European Commission Katerina Mathernova met last month to discuss prospects for economic and financial cooperation between Egypt and the EU.

Discussions included the status of programmes and projects funded by European Commission grants, which amounted to $518.7 million.

On the agenda was a discussion around stalled projects that are facing difficulties in implementation. Nasr committed to work with all parties involved in the implementation of projects to overcome obstacles that delay progress in these projects, reported Daily News Egypt.