The Egyptian government is seeking to develop selective wind turbine components to serve the increasing demand from local and regional markets.
The goal is to start by manufacturing turbine towers and blade facilities for the local market (large enough to supply 400 MW yearly), then to supply products to the emerging North African and Middle Eastern markets.
The blade manufacturing project alone requires an estimated investment of US$59 million, while the tower industry is estimated at US$147 million per year and will provide employment to 400 workers. The blades industry itself would be a highly valuable export commodity, as Egypt has the supporting logistical infrastructure to export the blades to its neighbouring countries.
Renewable energy sector overview
With natural gas reserves expected to be exhausted in the next 57 years, Egypt is an investor’s dream when it comes to sustainable energy resources. Egypt possesses an abundance of land, sunny weather and high wind speeds, making it a prime resource for three renewable energy sources: wind, solar and biomass.
Although renewable energy is a relatively virgin market in Egypt, the country’s strategic location and the government’s commitment to increasing its renewable energy output make it an attractive investment opportunity. In fact, the 2008 New Renewable Energy Act (NREA) will soon create a new policy framework that fosters an investor-friendly system and encourages foreign as well as private sector involvement.
The government expects the renewable energy sector to produce 20% of total power generation by 2020, 12% of which will be generated by wind energy. Priority sectors are wind farms (the most cost-effective renewable energy source), followed by biodiesel production, both of which are supported by the country’s abundance of land, stable climate conditions and competitive labour force.
With solar energy costs expected to decline sharply over the next 5-7 years, Egypt aims to develop a competitive market in solar energy, but sees more immediate opportunities in wind and biomass.
Investors interested in this project should contact Egypt’s General Authority for Investment (GAFI) at [email protected]