Abu Dhabi-based energy company Masdar and its partners plan to build a 10 gigawatts (GW) onshore wind farm in Egypt. On the sidelines of the recent COP27 conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Masdar and two Egyptian entities – Infinity Power, in which it holds a stake, and Hassan Allam Utilities – signed an agreement for the development of the wind farm. Upon completion, it will be one of the world’s largest.
The venture will form part of Egypt’s Green Corridor initiative, a grid dedicated to renewable energy. Egypt wants clean energy to contribute 42% of its energy mix by 2035. Fossil fuels are currently responsible for about 90% of the country’s electricity generation capacity, while hydropower and other renewables account for the balance.
In August, Masdar also inked a deal with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) for the development of renewable electricity projects up to 2GW. Masdar and the East African country’s power utility plan to form a joint venture company to execute these projects. The first phase of the partnership is expected to develop about 600 megawatts of solar photovoltaic and onshore wind power.
In addition to wind and solar generation, the Emirati outfit is bullish about green hydrogen production in Africa. Hydrogen – a clean burning fuel – is regarded as ‘green’ if the power used to manufacture it comes from renewables. Masdar recently commissioned a report that argues green hydrogen offers the continent an opportunity to capitalise on its significant renewable resources. North Africa is uniquely positioned to supply the European market with green hydrogen thanks to its proximity and cost-competitive solar and wind resources. The study further suggests existing natural gas export pipelines in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya can be retrofitted to transport hydrogen to Europe.
A week after the wind farm announcement, Masdar and its consortium partners, Hassan Allam Utilities and Infinity Power, also signed a framework agreement with Egyptian authorities to develop a 2GW green hydrogen project in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE), a 461km investor-friendly special economic zone adjacent to the canal. The project, expected to be operational by 2026, will produce 100,000 tonnes per year of clean methanol, a derivative of green hydrogen used as fuel by ships. By 2030, the consortium plans to commission a second plant along the Mediterranean, pushing the total green hydrogen output to 480,000 tonnes per year.
‘Egypt’, U.S. Energy Information Administration, 04 April 2022
‘Masdar signs landmark agreements to develop 4 GW-capacity green hydrogen plants in Egypt by 2030’, Masdar, 24 April 2022
‘Masdar signs agreement with Tanzania’s TANESCO to develop 2 GW renewable energy capacity’, Masdar, 05 August 2022
‘Africa’s green energy revolution’, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week/ Masdar, 11 November 2022
‘Masdar-led consortium strengthens partnership to advance landmark 4 GW green hydrogen program in Egypt’, Masdar, 16 November 2022