Syria appoints Gamesa to build its first wind farm

SYRIA: Gamesa has confirmed it has been “selected as preferred bidder” in an international tender to supply and install, on a turnkey basis, Syria’s first ever wind farm.

The 50MW Qatineh wind plant will be located southwest of the Syrian city of Homs. It will be on the northern shores of the Qatineh lake, near the Qatineh hydroelectric dam. The project will cost $78 million.

Wind speeds in the region of around eight metres/second would allow operation for up to 3,000 hours a year, according to the electricity ministry.

Gamesa, which came first out of six bidders, is expected to start building before end-March this year, according to local news agency al-Baath.

The conditions of the competition, which was announced by the electricity ministry’s National Energy Research Center (NERC) in May 2010, bind the winner to "supply training on site and external training of NERC’s personnel".

Following Syria’s peak crude oil production in the mid 1990s, the country now plans to invest $7.5 billion in new energy sources including wind and solar, according to reports.

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, Vestas aims to build a 50-100MW development to the south of Damascus.