The West Bakr wind project is a 250MW onshore wind farm under construction in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt.
Lekela Power, a joint venture of private equity firm Actis Capital (60%) and Mainstream Renewable Power (40%), is developing the project, as part of the Egyptian Government’s build, own, and operate (BOO) scheme. West Bakr will be the first wind farm to be developed by Lekela Power in Egypt.
The total estimated cost of the project is £269m ($325m). Lekela Power announced the financial closure for the project in August 2019, while construction works were started with a groundbreaking ceremony held in February 2020.
Scheduled for commissioning in 2021, the West Bakr wind farm is expected to generate 1,000GWh of clean and reliable energy a year, over its minimum estimated operational life of 20 years.
The onshore wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power more than 350,000 households and offset more than 550,000 tonnes (t) of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
West Bakr wind project background
Lekela Power signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) for building and operating the 250MW wind farm in 2015.
The wind farm is expected to increase the country’s wind energy capacity by 14%, which will help the Egyptian Government achieve its renewable energy generation target of 20% by 2022.
The construction phase of the project is estimated to take 18 months, during which approximately 300 job opportunities are expected to be created, while up to 75% of construction workers will be hired from the local communities.
Project location and site details
The West Bakr wind project site is located in a remote desert area in the Gulf of Suez, approximately 30km north-west of Ras Ghareb, Egypt. It can be accessed by Sukhna-Ras Gharib and Zafarana highway.
Ras Shoqeir and Wadi Dara villages lie approximately 60km and 72km south, respectively, from the project site.
West Bakr wind turbine details
The West Bakr wind farm will be installed with 96 SG 2.6-114 turbines provided by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. Each turbine will be mounted on a 400m³ concrete foundation.
With 144m-diameter rotor and 56m-long blades, each turbine will have 10,207m² swept area and a rated capacity of 2.62MW.
The SG 2.6-114 turbines are designed for medium to high wind speeds.
Power transmission and purchase agreement
The electricity generated by each turbine will be transmitted to an on-site collector substation, from where it will be evacuated to the national grid through a new 30km-long 220kV overhead transmission line connecting to a 500kV/200kV substation.
EETC will be responsible for the development of transmission infrastructure for the wind farm.
Lekela Power signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with EETC for the West Bakr wind farm in February 2019.
West Bakr wind project financing
Lekela Power secured £208m ($252m) of financing from a group of lenders including the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which has now become the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in August 2019.
Other infrastructure facilities for the wind farm will include an operation and maintenance (O&M) building, wastewater and potable water storage tanks, a diesel generator and associated tank, and a permanent meteorological mast.
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy was selected to supply 96 SG 2.6-114 turbines for the West Bakr wind farm.
Siemens Gamesa will also be responsible to build and commission the wind farm through a turnkey engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract.
The contractual scope also includes a 15-year maintenance and service agreement.