Renewable power company Lekela announced on 8 August that it has reached financial close on the 250MW West Bakr wind project in Egypt. The plant is located 30km northwest of Ras Ghareb. Construction is expected to begin shortly on the project, which is scheduled to come online in 2021 and will generate more than 1TWh/yr. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy will install 96 SG 2.6-114 turbines as part of an engineering, procurement and construction contract and has also signed a 15-year long-term services agreement.
The power purchase agreement, network connection contract and usufruct agreement covering the site were all signed in February 2019. Financing is being provided by the United States’ Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Lekela chief executive Chris Antonopoulos said, “This is a major milestone, not just for Lekela and its partners, but also for Egypt and its clean energy strategy. We are proud to play a part in supporting the diversification of Egypt’s generation capacity by delivering best-in-class clean energy projects.” Egypt aims to generate 20% of its electricity using renewable resources by 2022.
West Bakr is able to shut down on demand to protect birds. The project is on an important migration path and the turbines can be stopped when birds are detected. Lekela has signed a protocol with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency and its Migratory Soaring Birds project which will see it contribute towards the funding and implementation of a monitoring training programme.
Lekela was founded in 2015 and is owned by United Kingdom-based private equity company Actis and Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power. The company has more than 1GW in operation or construction across Senegal, Ghana, and South Africa.
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