Egypt’s Gulf of SUEZ is the first wind farm to get a tender on a build, own, operate (BOO) scheme. The tender has been awarded to a consortium led by French multinational electric utility company, ENGIE. This also includes Toyota Tsusho Corporation/Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation (40%) and Orascom Construction Limited (20%).
According to the French firm, the 250MW wind farm will commence construction at the end of 2017. The expectation of its completion is a timeline of 24 months.
The farm has secured an off taker under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC).
According to Bruno Bensasson, CEO of ENGIE Africa, Egypt is a country which expects a strong power demand growth in the next years. This will accompany its economic as well as its social development.
The Gulf of SUEZ has an estimated cost of US $400 million. “Japanese Bank for International Corporation will finance the project in coordination with commercial lenders SMBC and Sociéte Générale,” ENGIE noted.
Japanese Export Credit Agency, NEXI is providing an insurance cover for the commercial lenders.
Bensasson further added that Gulf of SUEZ is definitely proof that good regulation can bring foreign investment. As a result it puts it at a competitive price to the benefit of African countries. “For our Group, it is an opportunity to scale up our presence in a strategic country with a long-term contracted asset guaranteed by the government,” he said.
In conclusion, this project forms part of the Egyptian government’s drive to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix. This targets wind generation capacity of 7GW by 2022.