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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abdul Fattah Al Sisi witness the signing of an MOU between the UAE and Egypt pertaining to the 10-gigawatt onshore wind project in Egypt, during the COP27 climate conference at the Sharm Al Sheikh International Convention Centre. Image Credit: WAM

ABU DHABI: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi of Egypt witnessed the signing of an agreement between Masdar, one of the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy companies, along with its Infinity Power joint venture with Infinity, Egypt’s main renewable energy developer, and Hassan Allam Utilities, to develop a 10-gigawatt (GW) onshore wind project in Egypt — one of the largest wind farms in the world.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, UAE Special Envoy for Climate, and Chairman of Masdar, and Sabah Meshaly, chairwoman of the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), on the sidelines of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm Al Sheikh.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohammad bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Adviser for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court, along with a number of senior officials were also present.

UAE to host COP28
The UAE is hosting the COP28 conference next year.
When completed, the wind farm would be part of Egypt's Green Corridor initiative, a grid dedicated to renewable energy projects that is aimed at ensuring renewable energy makes up 42 per cent of the country's energy mix by 2035.
The wind project would save Egypt an estimated $5 billion in annual natural gas costs, the statement said. Egypt's total installed power capacity was around 59.5 GW in 2019/2020, the country's renewable energy authority said in an annual report.

Dr. Al Jaber said: “The scale of this mega 10 GW onshore wind project is a testament to the renewable energy ambitions of the UAE and Egypt, and demonstrates Masdar’s status as a global leader in clean energy.

“Under the guidance of our leadership, the UAE has been at the forefront of positive climate action in the region - and globally, as reflected in the recent US-UAE Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE). The UAE and Masdar will continue to support Egypt’s net-zero goals, and we will endeavor to take forward the gains made here at COP27, as the UAE prepares to host COP28 next year.”

When completed, the 10 GW wind farm will produce 47,790 GWh of clean energy annually and offset 23.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions - equivalent to around 9 per cent of Egypt’s current CO2 emissions.

Green Corridor initiative

The project will be part of Egypt’s Green Corridor initiative - a grid dedicated to renewable energy projects - and will contribute to Egypt’s goal of ensuring renewable energy makes up 42 per cent of its energy mix by 2035.

The wind farm will also save Egypt an estimated $5 billion in annual natural gas costs, and help create as many as 100,000 jobs. Direct employment in the construction phase is estimated at around 30,000, with as many as 70,000 people being employed indirectly. After construction, around 3,200 jobs will be added for operation and maintenance.

Mohammad Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said, “With this agreement to develop our largest ever project, Masdar is proud to bolster our contribution to Egypt’s renewable energy goals, while strengthening our partnerships with Infinity Power and Hassan Allam Utilities, and building on our relationship with the Egyptian Government. We are confident this project will help provide clean and sustainable energy to Egypt’s people while ensuring the country meets its decarbonisation commitments.”

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Sheikh Mohamed and Al Sisi after signing of an MOU between the UAE and Egypt. Image Credit: WAM

Saving natural gas

Mohammad Ismail Mansour, Chairman - Infinity Power, said, “We are proud to be working on this project in association with our partners, enabling the Egyptian government to build upon their efforts to deploy effective solutions that confront the global issue of climate change. The project will enable the country to save vast amounts of natural gas; thereby attaining economic growth, reduce carbon emissions and provide greater access to sustainable energy sources, enabling Egypt to move forward in its journey towards becoming a green economy.”

Nayer Fouad, CEO, Infinity Power, said, “It has always been our endeavour to create opportunities where organisations and governments can make the shift to a more sustainable and renewable source of energy. We are confident that this project will greatly benefit the country and enable Egypt to take great steps forward on its journey in becoming a more sustainable and green nation. We look forward to expanding our portfolio of sustainable energy solutions that benefit not only Egypt, but provide the entire continent with a clean, green future.”

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In April, Masdar and Hassan Allam Utilities signed two Memoranda of Understanding with Egyptian state-backed organisations to cooperate on the development of 4 GW green hydrogen production plants in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and on the Mediterranean coast.

In the first phase of the project, a green hydrogen manufacturing facility will be developed and operational by 2026, able to produce 100,000 tonnes of e-methanol annually for bunkering in the Suez Canal. The electrolyzer facilities could be extended to up to 4 GW by 2030 to produce 2.3 million tonnes of green ammonia for export as well as supply green hydrogen for local industries.

Egypt enjoys abundant solar and wind resources that allow for renewable-power generation at a highly competitive cost - a key enabler for green hydrogen production. It is also located near markets where the demand for green hydrogen is expected to grow the most, providing robust opportunities for export.

Active in more than 40 countries across the world, Masdar is invested in a portfolio of renewable energy assets with a combined value of more than US$20 billion and a total capacity of more than 15 GW.

COP28 will be held in the UAE, from November 6-17, 2023. The UAE conference will include the first Global Stocktake since the 2015 Paris Agreement, a comprehensive report card assessing progress against key global climate goals.