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The wind farm will increase Egypt's wind capacity by 35% and will reduce carbon emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year. Pic credit: EFE
The wind farm will increase Egypt’s wind capacity by 35% and will reduce carbon emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year. Pic credit: EFE

On Sunday, one of the largest wind farms in Africa, with 100 turbines and a total capacity of 200MW, was inaugurated in Egypt’s Gulf of El-Zayt, reported EFE news. The project, which cost $359 million is financed by the EU, KfW and European Investment Bank.

The EU contributed $32 million to the project, and the European Investment Bank invested $53 million – whilst the project’s main donor KfW, the German Development Bank, invested $203 million.

The wind farm project has the capacity to generate up to 800GW per year, which is sufficient to supply around 500,000 people with electricity. The development also contributes to preventing 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

European technical and economic support

The project is part of the Egyptian government’s plans to encourage renewable energy to control fuel shortages and diversify energy sources, with technical and economic support from Europe.

EU ambassador to Egypt, James Moran, who inaugurated the plant along with Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker, said: “The wind farm in the Gulf of El Zeit is a leading source of renewable energy that will help bolster Egypt’s economy, create jobs and reduce pollution from greenhouse gases.”

Moran added: “The new wind farm will increase Egypt’s wind capacity by 35% and will reduce carbon emissions by 400,000 tonnes a year.”

According to a statement released by the EU, Egypt has great potential in the field of solar and wind power. The development of these resources is fundamental to solving the country’s energy crisis, and to limiting pollution especially in populated areas of the Nile Delta and Cairo.

Another wind farm is also being developed with European funding in the Gulf of Suez, northeast of Cairo, which will be ready in 2016, reported EFE news.

EU and Egypt continued relations

In further news, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and the Deputy Director General of the European Commission Katerina Mathernova met last month to discuss prospects for economic and financial cooperation between Egypt and the EU.

Discussions included the status of programmes and projects funded by European Commission grants, which amounted to $518.7 million.

On the agenda was a discussion around stalled projects that are facing difficulties in implementation. Nasr committed to work with all parties involved in the implementation of projects to overcome obstacles that delay progress in these projects, reported Daily News Egypt.