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ENGIE Africa, the African arm of the French multinational electric utility company, has announced the commissioning of the 262.5 MW Ras Ghareb wind farm in Egypt, 45 days ahead of schedule.
It is the largest and the first privately owned wind farm in Egypt. The project is now connected to the grid and is ready for commercial operation at its maximum capacity. The wind farm has been constructed near Ras Ghareb on the Gulf of Suez with around 60% gross capacity.
The project company, Ras Ghareb Wind Energy, is owned by ENGIE (40%), while its consortium partner Toyota Tsusho/Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation has 40%, and Orascom Construction owns the remaining 20%.
As per the company statement, Ras Ghareb Wind Energy is the first wind farm tendered on Build, Own, Operate (BOO) basis and is a part of the Egyptian government’s aim to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix and achieve the target of wind generation capacity of 7 GW by 2022.
Speaking about the commissioning of Ras Ghareb Wind Energy, Yoven Moorooven, CEO of ENGIE Africa, said, “There is a huge potential for low-cost renewable energy in Africa. We are honored that the Egyptian authorities have selected the ENGIE consortium to be part of their strategic energy plan. Ras Ghareb Wind Energy has been developed with a continuous focus on Health and Safety and is completely in line with ENGIE’s ambition in the zero-carbon transition. We are committed to apply the same standards with the same success for the adjacent 500 MW wind farm that is being developed by this consortium.”
The consortium secured non-recourse project financing from the Japan Bank of International Corporation (JBIC) in coordination with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Société Générale under a Nippon Export and Investment Insurance cover.
The French multinational has been trying to expand its footprint in Africa, and in one such move, the company acquired Mobisol, an off-grid solar solutions corporation. With the acquisition of Mobisol, ENGIE will provide solar home systems in three additional countries in addition to the six where it already has a presence through its sister concern—Fenix International. ENGIE completed the acquisition of Fenix International in April 2018.
Meanwhile, the company’s total renewable capacity in India has crossed 1.5 GW after Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) awarded a 280 MW solar project as part of the state’s Raghanesda Solar Park, which is currently under development.