Dutch renewable energy company Lekela, has broken ground on the construction of its 250MW West Bakr wind farm in Ras-Ghareb, Egypt.
The farm will be located 30 kilometres north-west of Ras Ghareb, West Bakr Wind, and project partners Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy will install 96 of their SG 2.6-114 turbines through a turnkey EPC contract and will provide long term maintenance services through a 15-year Long Term Services Agreement.
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West Bakr Wind is a part of the Egyptian government’s Build, Own, Operate (BOO) scheme. It will provide an additional 250MW of clean energy to the grid, increasing Egypt’s wind energy capacity, as part of the country’s efforts towards achieving its target of generating 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022.
The project forms a key part of Lekela’s portfolio of wind projects across Senegal, Ghana and South Africa. In total, over 1,000MW are now in operation or construction.
The project will also reduce more than 550,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Faisal Eissa, General Manager, Egypt, Lekela said: “We are looking forward to the construction phase with our partner Siemens Gamesa to deliver the project by the end of 2021. This is what we pledged for with the Egyptian government in February 2019 when we signed the PPA with the EETC”.
“The project’s financial close followed in August 2019 with a commitment to create shared value with local communities. We have recently met with the Ras Ghareb community where we discussed employment and training opportunities, to benefit the local community both economically and in terms of skills and knowledge”, Eissa added.
The Power Purchase Agreement, Network Connection Contract with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and Usufruct Agreement with the New and Renewable Energy Authority were all signed in February and March 2019, shortly after the project received Cabinet approval.
Financing has been provided by DFC (formerly OPIC), the US Government’s Development Finance Corporation, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
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