Mott MacDonald provides lenders technical due diligence on Egyptian windfarm

12 February 2018

Egypt is looking to source around 20% of its energy from renewables by 2022 – reflecting a wider global effort to decrease reliance on fossil fuel. The Ras Ghareb wind farm is set to produce around 262.5 MW for the country. The lenders for the project are the Japanese Bank for International Corporation in coordination with commercial lenders SMBC and Sociéte Générale, to whom Mott MacDonald has provided technical due diligence.

The Ras Ghareb wind farm is a 262.5 MW plant, located around 20 kilometres out from the Egyptian city of Ras Ghareb. The new wind farm will be part of a much bigger wind project, which is touted to eventually become the biggest in North Africa – with a target set for the country to achieve 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2022.

This Ras Ghareb is being developed by French multinational electric utility company ENGIE (40%) and partners Toyota Tsusho Corporation/Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation (40%) and Orascom Construction Limited (20%). The new farm has an investment tag of around $400 million, funded in part by Japanese Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) and partly by commercial lenders SMBC and Sociéte Générale. The wind farm will be operated by the consortium through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC).

Mott MacDonald provides lenders technical due diligence on Egyptian windfarm

The project has successfully reached financial closure. Consulting firm Mott MacDonald acted as lenders’ technical advisor on the scheme and is now monitoring construction in an ongoing role. As part of the its analysis, the firm performed technical, environmental and social due diligence, covering everything from social and environmental impact to building compliance with international standards. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

Sébastien Sandmark, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said, “Our due diligence helped overcome a number of potential challenges during this project’s development, such as the very windy location of the project site which has meant that the installation of the wind turbines has had to be planned in specific seasons. Also, Ras Ghareb is located on a corridor for migratory birds, so special attention will be given to the construction activities taking place during migratory seasons.”

As countries across Africa increasingly move towards renewable energy, the consulting industry is faced with a sea of opportunity to advise on large scale transition projects. Mott MacDonald has supported a wide array of players across the renewables space with due diligence work, including global projects such as a solar energy project in Jordan early this year.


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Cameroon seeks consulting support for electricity distribution project

10 April 2019

The Government of Cameroon is on the lookout for consultants to support with the development of the Master Plan Production Transport Distribution of Electricity. The selected consultancy will be expected to conduct a study regarding the evacuation of power facilities in the country.

The result of the proposed study will be an initial design, followed by a more detailed blueprint, in addition to the final tender paperwork. The Master Plan Production Transport Distribution of Electricity is one of several developmental projects taking place across Africa to improve the region’s infrastructure scenario.

Specifically, the project looks to develop a more comprehensive network of transportation to and from power generation facilities, not only to enhance the capacity within these plants but also to expand the scope of distribution to the more remote areas of the country. The project also involves the development of two solar power plants.Cameroon seeks consulting support for electricity distribution project

This is another trend that is common across a number of African markets. Given that the latest wave of infrastructure development on the continent is coinciding with a global trend towards sustainable energy, most African countries are integrating renewable sources such as wind and solar within their energy generation systems.

Tcholiré and Kousséri are the two cities to be endowed with solar power plants, The candidates for consulting partners of the project are expected to have considerable global experience in the domains of power distribution and managing renewable energy generation projects.

Overall, the new plan is being designed to cover the gaps in the previous Electricity Sector Development Plan that was formed in 2014. The earlier plan failed to address a number of distribution issues around major generation centres, while the new plan is being designed to ensure efficient distribution.

As a result, the requirements for the new plan include detailed assessments of voltage and capacity of electricity plants, and the capacity of their associated distribution systems. The new plan is also, in similar vein, expected to have detailed guidelines on optimum transportation networks to and from the generation facilities.