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COP27: UAE and Egypt ink deal to build one of world’s largest wind farms

The United Arab Emirates and Egypt have agreed to develop one of the world’s largest wind farms in a deal struck on the sidelines of the UN’s COP27 climate summit in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The presidents
of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt witnessed the
signing of the agreement on Tuesday, according to an official
statement on the Gulf nation’s state news agency, WAM.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the UAE’s
renewable energy firm Masdar alongside its joint venture with
Egypt’s main renewable energy developer Infinity and Hassan
Allam Utilities, the statement said.

The 10-gigawatt (GW) onshore wind project in Egypt will produce 47,790 GWh of clean energy annually once it is completed, according to WAM. 

It will offset 23.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to around nine percent of Egypt’s current CO2 output, according to WAM.

The UN’s COP27 climate summit kicked off Sunday in Egypt with warnings against backsliding on efforts to cut emissions and calls for rich nations to compensate poor countries after a year of extreme weather disasters. The UAE is hosting the COP28 conference next year.

Green Corridor Initiative

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%
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.

“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,” Mohamed Mansour, the chairman of Infinity Power, the
Masdar and Infinity joint venture, said in the statement.

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 that 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 statement said.

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, it said.

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