Syria awards Gamesa contract to build 50 MW wind farm

Gamesa Corp., the Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain-based leader in wind turbine technology, has been awarded a contract to build Syria’s first wind farm.

The National Energy Research Centre, an office of Syria’s Ministry of Electricity, selected the company out of five bidders to build a €60 million ($78 million) wind farm that will have a 50 MW capacity.

The new power source will be located near the historic city of Homs in Southwest Syria.

Like many of its oil-producing neighbours, Syria, the largest crude oil producer in the eastern Mediterranean, is striving to diversify its economy and energy production in light of continued declines in its fossil fuel output from its 1996 peak.

In May 2010 the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency announced that Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems had been selected to build a 50 to 100 MW wind energy project at two sites south of the capital city of Damascus.

That project is being carried out in partnership with Marafeq, a joint venture composed of Syria’s Cham Holding and Kuwait’s Kharafi Group that was created in 2008 to build utility projects in Syria.

Under the agreement, Marafeq will act as developer, Vestas will provide the technology, and Kharafi Group will be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction.

Syria plans to spend €5.6 billion ($7.5 billion) under a five-year power plan.

National power demand reached 44.5 billion kilowatts in 2009, up 5.9 percent from the previous year, according to figures from the state-run Public Establishment for Electrical Generation and Transfer. At the same time, Syria’s power supply reached 43.3 billion kilowatts last year, an increase of 5.6 percent from 2008.

In order to foster its renewable energy sector, the nation on 14 November 2010 issued a new law enabling foreign and local private investors to generate and distribute electricity.

In related news, the Syrian government also announced that Germany’s Sunset Energietechnik GmbH has been chosen to build a 1 MW photovoltaic plant, although no further details were available Friday morning.

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