Egypt receives $220 million from World Bank to help grow its wind industry

Local press sources report that the World Bank has awarded a loan of $220 million to the Egyptian grid operator for the construction of infrastructures for the evacuation of wind power in the region of Gebel el-Zeit, where the central government plans to install 2,500 MW in the coming years. The Egyptian government and the World Bank have not yet confirmed the deal.

According to local press, Hassan Younis, Egypt’s Minister for Electricity has said that the loan will cover the construction of 280 kilometres of 550 kv, dual-circuit transmission lines that will connect the region of Gebel el-Zeit to the Samalut substation in the self-governing region of Minya.

The agreement will consist of a soft loan of $150 million which would be provided from the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund, subject to repayment in the long term at a low interest rate, plus an additional $70 million in the form of a more conventional line of credit from the bank.

Over 7 GW by 2020

In late 2009, Egypt had 430 MW of installed wind power capacity after installing 40 MW during the year. Before autumn 2010, the government expects to reach 550 MW, which would mark the beginning of a strong period of growth to reach 7,200 MW by 2020. The biggest technical obstacle to achieving this goal is the transmission system. To date, the entire installed capacity is located on the Red Sea coast, particularly in the regions of Zafarana and Hurghada.

However, the Egyptian government has been preparing the groundwork to expand wind power development in the region of Gebel el-Zeit, an area of 656 square kilometres situated south of Zafarana that could accommodate up to 3,000 MW, according to the Danish Wind Industry Association. The Gebel el-Zeit project results from the experience of the neighbouring region of Zarafa, where, in the late '90s, Egypt's New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) invited several European companies and agencies to initiate the development of wind energy in the country. The main companies involved were the wind turbine manufacturers Vestas of Denmark, Nordex of Germany and Gamesa of Spain.

For additional information:

Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Energy


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