The presidents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt witnessed the signing of an agreement on Tuesday, 8 November, to develop one of the world’s largest onshore wind projects in Egypt, according to an official statement on the Gulf nation’s state news agency.
Participants walk outside of the Sharm El Sheikh International Convention Centre before the COP27 climate summit opening in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Source: Reuters/Mohammed Salem
The memorandum of understanding was signed between the UAE’s renewable energy firm Masdar alongside its joint venture with Egypt’s main renewable energy developer Infinity and Hassan Allam Utilities, the statement on news agency WAM said.
Masdar, invested in a portfolio of renewable energy assets with a combined value of more than $20bn and a total capacity of more than 15GW, said the new project would be its biggest yet.
“With this agreement to develop our largest ever project, Masdar is proud to bolster our contribution to Egypt’s renewable energy goals,” Masdar’s CEO Mohamed Jameel al-Ramahi said.
Tuesday’s agreement was signed on the sidelines of the ongoing COP27 climate summit in Egypt’s coastal city of Sharm El-Sheikh.
The UAE is hosting the COP28 conference next year.
Green Corridor initiative
When completed, the wind farm would be part of Egypt’s Green Corridor initiative, a grid dedicated to renewable energy projects that is aimed at ensuring renewable energy makes up 42% of the country’s energy mix by 2035.
The wind project would save Egypt an estimated $5bn in annual natural gas costs, the statement said. Egypt’s total installed power capacity was around 59.5GW in 2019/2020, the country’s renewable energy authority said in an annual report.
“The project will enable the country to save vast amounts of natural gas, thereby attaining economic growth, reduce carbon emissions and provide greater access to sustainable energy sources,” Mohamed Mansour, the chairman of Infinity Power, the Masdar and Infinity joint venture, said in the statement.
Green hydrogen production
In April, Masdar and Hassan Allam Utilities signed two memoranda of understanding with Egyptian state-backed organisations to cooperate on the development of 4GW green hydrogen production plants in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and on the Mediterranean coast.
In the first phase of that project, a green hydrogen manufacturing facility will be developed and operational by 2026, able to produce 100,000 tonnes of e-methanol annually for bunkering in the Suez Canal, the statement said.
The electrolyser facilities could be extended to up to 4GW by 2030 to produce 2.3 million tonnes of green ammonia for export as well as supply green hydrogen for local industries, it said.