Ground is broken on 250 MW West Bakr wind farm project
Construction work is now underway on our joint venture wind farm in Egypt.
Breaking of ground at the West Bakr project site, on the shores of the Gulf of Suez, was officially celebrated by Lekela Power at a ceremony in Cairo, with Ministers for environment, electricity and planning in attendance.
Developed as part of the Government’s Build, Own, Operate programme, West Bakr Wind will provide an additional 250 MW of clean energy to the grid when it becomes operational next year - increasing Egypt's wind energy capacity by 18%.
The project, located 30 kilometres northwest of Ras Ghareb, will also displace more than 550,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, and marks a significant advance in the country’s drive to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022.
Chris Antonopoulos, Lekela Chief Executive, said: "We are thrilled to announce that West Bakr Wind has now entered the construction phase. The project marks Lekela’s first successful project implementation with the Egyptian Government and we are certainly looking forward to many more opportunities in the near future.
"As a long-term operator delivering sustainable, reliable and competitively priced power to communities, wind power is an important focus for Lekela, which also aligns with the United Nation's 2030 Agenda on sustainable energy."
Last month Lekela hosted more than 200 members of the Ras Ghareb community and set out how West Bakr Wind will create up to 550 jobs during its peak construction phase.
Lekela’s Egypt General Manager, Faisal Eissa, explained: "We are looking forward to the construction phase with our partner Siemens Gamesa to deliver the project by the end of 2021.
"This is what we pledged for with the Egyptian government in February 2019 when we signed the PPA with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company.
"The project's financial close followed in August 2019 with a commitment to create shared value with local communities. We have recently met with the Ras Ghareb community, where we discussed employment and training opportunities, to benefit the local community both economically and in terms of skills and knowledge."
West Bakr Wind is a key part of Lekela’s portfolio of wind projects across Senegal, Ghana and South Africa. In total, more than 1 GW is now in operation or construction.