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A consortium of Egypt’s Orascom Construction, France’s ENGIE and Japan’s Toyota Tsusho/Eurus Energy Holdings broke ground for a new 500-megawatt (MW) onshore wind farm project in Ras Gharib on the Gulf of Suez.

The same consortium had previously been awarded Egypt’s first-ever wind power independent power producer (IPP) scheme [Gulf of Suez 1 – Ras Ghareb Wind Farm] with a capacity of 262.5 MW in Ras Gharib, which was completed and operationalised in October 2019.

Orascom Construction will build the new wind farm, which will supply electricity to more than 800,000 Egyptian homes, the company said in a press statement on Tuesday.

The project company, Red Sea Wind Energy,  is owned 35 percent by Engie, followed by Orascom Construction (25 percent), Toyota Tsusho Corporation (20 percent), Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation (20 percent), consortium leader ENGIE said in a separate press statement. 

"Once fully operational, the plant will be the largest privately developed utility-scale wind power plant in Egypt, capable of delivering clean power to more than 800,000 Egyptian homes," the statement said.

It added that the new project was negotiated on a bilateral basis with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) as the off taker.

Total investment cost of the first project amounted to approximately $400 million, according to an October 2017 Engie statement. Financing was provided by the Japanese Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) in coordination with commercial lenders SMBC and Sociéte Générale, Japanese Export Credit Agency, NEXI supplying insurance cover for the commercial lenders. The project is backed by a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with EETC.

Egypt has set a target of generating 42 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

(Writing by Marwa Abo Almajd; Editing by Anoop Menon)