Middle East & North Africa - Healthy pipeline but piecemeal progress

MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA: Few megawatts were installed in the region during 2013, but construction got under way for several projects that are due for commissioning this year.

Steady increase… Tunisia added another 54MW of Gamesa turbines to the Bizerte project in 2013, bringing the country's total capacity to 209MW
Steady increase… Tunisia added another 54MW of Gamesa turbines to the Bizerte project in 2013, bringing the country's total capacity to 209MW

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Major markets: Morocco and Egypt

Morocco added 203MW in 2013, bringing its total installed capacity to 495MW at year end. The new capacity belongs to Moroccan conglomerate Nareva Holdings. Alstom 1.67MW turbines make up the 101.9MW at Akhfenir, while the remaining 101.2MW is split equally between Foum el Oued and Haouma, powered by 2.3MW Siemens units.

Nareva is also part-owner, along with GDF Suez, of a 300MW facility being constructed at Tarfaya under a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) contract.

The first 50MW should power up in April, followed by the rest of the Siemens 2.3MW turbines by the end of the year.

Likewise, EDF energies Nouvelles and Mitsui are building 150MW at Taza, with Alstom supplying the turbines, also under a BOOT contract. Completion is slated for early 2015.

Egypt failed to add any new capacity last year, sticking at 550MW, although a 200MW plant being built and equipped by Gamesa on the Gulf of El-Zayt is expected to come online this summer. Other projects are either effectively on hold or creeping forward very slowly.

The government's New and Renewable Energy Authority says it has received seven bids for six blocks of up to 100MW each, put up for auction in 2012, and is now evaluating the offers. Similarly, private investor Italgen, owned by cement firm Italcementi, hopes to sign an engineer, procure and construct (EPC) contract for 120MW on the Gulf of El-Zayt by the summer.

Steel in the ground: Tunisia and Algeria

Tunisia commissioned another 54MW near Bizerte in 2013, giving the country a total of 209MW by year end. The project's last 26 Gamesa 1.32MW turbines were due to be brought online in late March. After that, there is nothing concrete in the pipeline as the industry waits for the government to issue regulations covering private-sector initiatives.

Algeria built its first pilot project last year, a 10MW facility at Adrar equipped with Gamesa 850kW machines. It is slated to start operating this spring.

Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

While none of these countries installed anything in 2013, all have projects in the pipeline or have announced ambitious plans. Jordan should commission a 1.65MW pilot project in March and start building 117MW at Tafila this year, with Vestas executing the EPC contract. The government is also negotiating with three potential contractors to build 66MW at Maan.

Libya's first 61MW project, near Dernah, has been delayed because of problems over land-use rights. Spain's MTOI hopes to complete turbine shipments this year, however, and bring the first machines online in late 2014 or early 2015.

In Israel, Mei Golan has started work on the repowering of the country's only installation, a 6MW facility on the Golan Heights, which will be expanded to 15MW using Goldwind turbines. Again, completion is slated for late 2014 or early 2015.

Kuwait announced plans last year for 10MW of wind capacity as part of its renewables masterplan, while Saudi Arabia unveiled plans for 9GW of wind by 2032. Around 2GW of this will be offered for tender over the next two or three years.

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