Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Gamesa to supply wind turbines for Egypt wind farms

29 Dec 2011

Spanish wind farm builder and turbine manufacturer, Gamesa, has won an international public tender to supply Egypt with 200 MW of turbines for use in wind power projects in El-Zayt, located along the environmentally sensitive Gulf of Suez. The company was awarded the contract after a lengthy Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that found the potential hazards posed by wind turbines to the large number of migratory birds flying through the wind farm site were minimal. The EIA study concluded that although collisions with turbines could occur, most migrating birds, including pelicans, storks and rare desert steppe eagles, fly above the critical low altitude point.

Gamesa will supply a total of 100 of its G80-2.0 MW turbines for the project, which the company claims are perfect for withstanding corrosive desert conditions. Each G80-2.0 turbine stands up to 100 metres tall when installed and comes equipped with rotors of up to 97m in diameter. Gamesa will also perform turbine assembly, erection and start-up services and provide operation and maintenance services for a period of five years. Manufacturing for the El Zayt farm is set to begin in 2012, with delivery scheduled over the course of 2013.

The project was facilitated by Egypt's New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), the organisation behind the EIA and will receive funding from various European investment funds, including Germany's Development Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union via the Neighbourhood Investment Facility. According to the NREA, the El-Zayt region of the Red Sea coastline boasts wealth of wind power resources and the nation is determined to put it to use. The Gamesa wind farm, occupying an area of 10km by 3.5km, will abut two German and Japanese wind power projects. The Egyptian government has mandated a renewable energy target of 20% by 2020; 12% from wind power sources and a further eight% from solar power and hydropower energy.