Forbes: Egypt continues diversification push with wind, gas efforts
After announcing a new solar push last week, Egypt will soon consider new wind and natural gas efforts as a part of a broader energy diversification push.
Faced with energy uncertainty in recent years and growing demand from a population of more than 80 million, Egypt has moved to diversify its energy options with all alternatives on the table.
This week, Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems announced that it will present a request to install 2.2 GW of wind capacity in the North African nation, complete with financial backing of six institutions.
According to media reports, the project will be financed by HSBC, EFK Denmark, Euler Hermes, IFU Denmark, Danida, and CDP Banco Standard.
When the wind projects are completed, they will be transferred to the government and could cost up to $2.2 billion to finish. The project backers could also seek approval for a wind turbine blade maintenance facility in Egypt.
While solar and wind efforts have garnered significant attention, Egypt is also working to make the most of renewed interest in its natural gas potential, assisted by the recent discovery of an offshore “super giant”.
Hoping to build on the momentum, Egypt has announced that they hope they can increase gas production by 30 percent by 2019, with output rising to 5.5-6 billion cubic feet of gas per day by the end of the year.
This progress, based mainly on the development of the Zohr gas field, discovered by Italy’s Eni, would help move Egypt towards greater energy independence and away from costly energy imports.
According to media reports, twelve natural gas fields currently under development could be worth $33 billion, helping to alleviate the country’s domestic demand, budgetary concerns and existing energy debt to foreign producers.
In addition to encouraging domestic energy production, Cairo has also worked to ease the burden of costly and ultimately unsustainable fuel subsidy programs.