Standing (from right) Padmanathan, Cai, Alassaf, El Markabi and Al Jaber. Seated (from right) are Ab

Standing (from right) Padmanathan, Cai, Alassaf, El Markabi and Al Jaber. Seated (from right) are Ab

Masdar, others ink MoU in Egypt

01 April 2015

Abu dhabi’s Masdar has joined two other parties in plans to develop up to four gigawatts of renewable and natural gas power generation projects in Egypt.

An MoU to the effect was signed in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, by Masdar, Acwa Power and the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) as a non-binding framework aimed at increasing Egypt’s power generation to meet its growing electricity demands and support economic growth. Signatories were Dr Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar; Paddy Padmanathan, Acwa Power president and CEO, and Gaber Dessouky, chairman of EEHC.

Others present at the signing ceremony included Dr Mohamed Shaker El Markabi, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Energy; Dr Ibrahim Alassaf, Saudi Finance Minister; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State;  Jin-Yong Cai, CEO, International Finance Corporation; Mohammed Abynayyan, chairman Acwa Power, and Mohammed Alsebki, CEO, New and Renewable Energy Authority, Egypt

“Egypt is committed to meeting our rising energy needs and encouraging economic growth by developing new power generation in our country. We appreciate the partnership of companies, such as Masdar, Acwa Power and Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, which will explore the development of new renewable energy and natural gas facilities to provide electricity for Egyptian homes and businesses,” said  minister El Markabi.

Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multifaceted renewable energy company, will lead development of renewable energy projects. According to the MoU, the partners will evaluate 2 GW of renewable energy projects, including 1.5 GW of solar and 500 MW of wind. The first project that would be considered is a 200 MW solar photovoltaic plant.

Dr Belhoul of Masdar said: “Egypt has one of the fastest growing populations in the Middle East and requires additional electricity to power its economic expansion. As a regional and global leader in delivering large-scale renewable energy projects, Masdar is eager to move forward with our partners to explore sustainable, economic options to improve Egypt’s energy security.”

The framework agreement also calls for development of 2.2 GW of combined-cycle natural gas generation led by Acwa Power.

Acwa’s Padmanathan remarked: “Egypt is a very important market for us. The Egyptian government efforts in keeping pace with the increasing demand of power and energy to meet the expectations of its developing economy is a key driver in looking into efficient energy solutions. Through this MoU, the partnership will look into potential opportunities of generating power more efficiently, utilising a broader mix of fuel resources and renewable energy sources, hence providing cutting edge technologies and a more cost competitive approach. Producing 4 GW of energy will not only sustain economic development but will also position Egypt as one of the globally leading countries in the field of renewable energy.”

Acwa Power is a developer, investor, co-owner and operator of a portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants with operations in 10 countries. Its portfolio, with an investment value in excess of $25 billion, can generate 16.1 GW of power and produce 2.5 million m3 /day of desalinated water.

“We are pleased to partner with ACWA Power and Masdar to examine the development of new power plants in Egypt, including renewable energy and natural gas. Every day we work to ensure that Egyptians have the electricity they need, and at the same time we are looking at new projects to help provide the power for Egypt’s future,” said EEHC’s Dessouky.

At the end of 2013, Egypt had 31 GW of total installed generating capacity, dominated by natural gas and oil. It had 552 MW of wind and 20 MW of solar generating capacity. The renewable component, including hydro, is projected to increase to 20 per cent by 2020.

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