Libya to build first wind energy project

LIBYA: Libya is about to join the wind power club with the construction of a 61.75MW pilot facility at Al-Fetaih, near Dernah on the windswept north east coast.

The project will use MTorres 1.65MW direct drive turbines
The project will use MTorres 1.65MW direct drive turbines

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The Public Electricity Works Company, the state utility, awarded the €84 million engineer, procure and construct (EPC) contract to Egypt's Elsewedy Wind Energy Generation (SWEG) in partnership with its Spanish subsidiary M Torres Olvega Industrial (MTOI).

MTOI, which manufactures 1.65MW direct-drive turbines, shipped the first of what will eventually be 37 units to Dernah in December. The plant is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

Dernah was chosen for the pilot project thanks to its port facilities, good grid connections and wind speeds averaging 9.3 m/s.

If all goes to plan, a further 60MW will be added to the site as Libya pursues its goal of generating 10% of its energy mix from renewable sources by 2020.

Wind will supply around 1.5GW of this, though the Renewable Energy Authority of Libya estimates the country's total potential at over 5GW.

Other projects under development include 240MW at Al-Maqrun, near Benghazi, and 250MW in the western region.

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