Lekela successfully installs first turbine at West Bakr wind farm in Egypt

WT96 blade installationLekela, the renewable power generation company that delivers utility-scale projects across Africa, has announced the successful installation of the first turbine at its 250MW West Bakr wind project in Egypt

The installation marks an important step for the project, which began construction in February. In total, 96 turbines will be installed by Siemens Gamesa, with the wind farm set to become operational in 2021. 

Located 30km north-west of Ras Ghareb, West Bakr Wind is part of the Government’s Build, Own, Operate (BOO) scheme. It will provide an additional 250 MW of clean energy to the grid as the country strives to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022. The project will also prevent more than 550,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. 

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, construction has continued in recent months and is on track with our commitments to EETC and to reach its Commercial Operation Date by the end of 2021. During this time, the overarching priority has been to support the health and safety of all employees, contractors and partners involved in the construction. In line with its strategy to support the local communities where it operates, Lekela has also donated 4,400 packages of preventative supplies including face masks and hand sanitiser to residents of Ras Ghareb

Chris Antonopoulos, CEO at Lekela, said, “Seeing the first turbine go up is an exciting moment on any wind farm. Given this is our first project in Egypt, it adds to the sense of pride about the progress we’ve been making. Coming so quickly after reaching milestones in both South Africa and Senegal, this is another sign of our ability to deliver clean, competitively priced power right across the African continent.” 

Ayman Saad, general manager of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energies in Egypt, said, “The wind turbine blades will be mounted on a total of 96 SG 2.6-114 turbine units. It’s a great milestone; once completed and connected to the grid, the 250 MW West Bakr wind farm will increase Egypt’s wind power capacity by a well-needed 18%.” 

The progress at West Bakr follows several other significant milestones for Lekela in recent weeks. In September, the company was awarded a grant by the US Trade and Development Agency to fund a feasibility study in partnership with Senelec for Senegal’s first grid-scale battery storage system. 

Meanwhile, in South Africa, Lekela recently announced that its 140MW Kangnas and 110MW Perdekraal East wind farms have successfully reached commercial operations. In total, Lekela now has over 1,000MW in operation and construction across Africa.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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