Egypt to allocate more land for wind farms

3 August 2009 – Egypt’s Electricity Ministry will allocate 1.5m feddans (630 000 hectares) of government land in Upper Egypt for wind farms, an official at the ministry said on Monday.

“Part of this land will be used for future tenders that we will announce for building wind farms, and the other part will be for wind farms funded by the government and multinational organisations,” the official, who declined to be named, said.

The land will be in the provinces of Beni Suef, Minya, and Assiut, reported Reuters.

The ministry had said it was allocating 300 000 feddans of land on the Red Sea coast in the Gulf of Suez area to wind farm projects in June.

Egypt, which is a gas and oil producer, has been developing wind power along its Red Sea coast in its east. It aims to generate 12 percent of its power from wind farms and a total of 20 percent from renewable sources by 2020.

Officials say Egypt’s combined oil and gas reserves will last the most populous Arab country for roughly three more decades, pushing the drive for more renewable energy.

Egypt announced a tender in May for a 250 MW wind farm on a build-operate-own (BOO) basis, also on its Red Sea coast. A total of 72 international companies have expressed interest in the tender so far.

Egypt already has wind farms at Zafarana and Hurghada on the Red Sea coast.

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