Nine leading international wind turbine manufacturers arrived in Hurghada over the weekend to take part in a site-visit organised by Italgen (Italcementi Group) to present a new state-of-the-art renewable energy project in the Red Sea area, which represents the first Foreign Direct Investment in this sector.
The investment, estimated around EUR140m, envisages job opportunities and social initiatives to the local community besides allowing the transfer of know-how. The project will cover the energy needs of the Suez Cement Company plants in Egypt (whose main stakeholder is Italcementi Group), thus contributing to Egypt’’s environmental goals of reducing impact on the environment and consumption of fuel based energy resources.
Giuseppe De Beni, managing director of Italgen, also met the new Governor of Red Sea, HE Counsellor Mahmoud Assem, to discuss the features of the project, mainly the economic and social benefit that will be generated to Red Sea Governorate, especially Wadi Dara and Gulf El Zayt areas. Later, a meeting was held with international suppliers and senior representatives of the New and Renewable Energy Authority and other Egyptian Institutions. Egypt has set a very ambitious target to have 20% of total energy capacity installed from Renewable Energy in 2020. This would mean 7000MW installed before 2020 and the contribution of the private sector is crucial to meet the target.
"I have been extremely pleased to listen to the new Government, saying that the private sector could help Egyptians by partnering with them" underlined Mr. De Beni, "this is exactly the attitude of Italcementi Group towards Egypt and the framework within which we are developing this wind energy project. We do expect a continuous close cooperation with New and Renewable Authority Energy and with the Ministry of Energy to finalise very soon the last phase of the permitting process and to start the implementation phase."
Mr. de Beni added that private investors are now looking to Egypt to understand whether the framework will be favorable in the next future and that he is sure that the implementation of such a relevant project in a crucial and innovative field like renewable energies would be an important sign of the renewed confidence and trust of foreign investors in the country.
"Egypt is a priority in our internationalisation strategy and we are fully committed to it. We are confident that the new era will mean a favorable and more dynamic business environment," he said.