The West Bakr Wind Project is a 250MW onshore wind farm project that is being developed by Lekela Power, a joint venture of private equity firm Actis Capital and Mainstream Renewable Power in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt.
The project is developed under the framework of the Egyptian Government’s build, own, and operate (BOO) scheme, which is a key part of the government’s ambitious aim to generate 20% of its electricity at the least from renewable sources by 2022.
With the Spanish-German wind engineering company based in Spain, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, as the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, the West Bakr Wind Project involves the installation of a total of 96 SG 2.6-114 (power 2 625 kW, diameter 114 m) turbines supplied by the same company.
Mounted on a 400m³ concrete foundation and with a 144m-diameter rotor and 56m-long blades, each turbine will have a 10,207m² swept area and a rated capacity of 2.62MW. The electrical energy generated by each of the turbines, which are designed for medium to high wind speeds, will be transmitted to an on-site collector substation.
The electricity will then be evacuated from the on-site collector substation to the national grid through a new 30km-long 220kV overhead transmission line connecting to a 500kV/200kV substation. The transmission line will be built by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC).
Other than the turbines and electricity transmission lines, the West Bakr Wind Project also includes other infrastructure facilities such as an operation and maintenance (O&M) building, wastewater and potable water storage tanks, a diesel generator and associated tank, and a permanent meteorological mast.
The total cost of the project is approximately US$ 325M. Some of the project financiers include the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which has now become the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Upon completion, the West Bakr Wind Project whose groundbreaking was celebrated in Q1 2020, is expected to generate 1,000GWh of clean and reliable energy a year, which is enough to power more than 350,000 households.
It will also offset more than 550,000 tonnes (t) of carbon dioxide emissions every single year over its minimum estimated operational life of 20 years.
Lekela Power signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EETC for building and operating the 250MW wind farm.
In February, Lekela Power signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with EETC for the West Bakr wind farm.
In August, Lekela Power announced the financial closure of the project.
In March, the breaking of ground at the project was officially celebrated by Lekela Power at a ceremony in Cairo, with Ministers for environment, electricity, and planning in attendance.
In October, the installation of the first wind turbine fins commenced.
In April, construction and the final energization of the first Gas Insulated Substation were completed.