Italgen, a subsidiary of global cement producer Italcementi Group, has been authorized –through the contracts signed with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company- to be the first private investor to enter the Egyptian national grid, developing a wind energy park in the area of Gulf El Zeit.
Phase I of the project, equal to an installed capacity of 120 MW, represents an investment of about 120/130 million euros, with the commitment to reach 400 MW of installed capacity, after the completion of phase II.
Minister of Energy and Electricity Ahmad Shaaban and Italian Ambassador Maurizio Massari attended the special signing ceremony in the Ministry of Energy and Electricity.
The contracts allow Italgen to connect the wind park at Gulf El Zeit to the national grid. The produced electricity will be transmitted to plants run by Suez Cement (SUCE.CA), another Italcementi subsidiary, as part of the Group’s plan to incorporate a higher percentage of renewable power in all of its facilities.
The first phase of the wind farm will cover up to 40% of Suez Cement power needs and will greatly contribute to the initiatives that Suez Cement is pursuing to reduce its environmental impact, in particular its CO2 emissions.
Italgen began studying the possibility of incorporating wind technology in Suez Cement operations in 2008, through a stringent Environmental Impact Assessment, approved by relevant Egyptian Authorities (EEAA). The signature of these contracts allows Italgen to proceed with the short list of the bids received from 10 international companies to supply wind turbines and with the definition of the “financial package” for the investment. Also in this case, Italgen already received several expressions of interest.
The agreements are part of Italcementi’s long-standing commitment to developing industrial and social initiatives in Egypt since 2001. The Group is dedicated to improving the lives of its workers and their communities and has invested over 1 billion euros in projects like these over the last 12 years. By investing in renewable energy, Italcementi and Italgen are creating opportunities for further ventures by private firms in this field as well as promoting the use of greener energy in Egypt’s cement industry.
The government’s goal is to have 20% of the country’s electricity, approximately 7,000 MW, come from renewable sources, which include solar, water and wind, by 2020. To reach this ambitious target, it is essential that the private sector participate and fund similar projects to ensure the renewable energy sector meets its full potential.