Egypt’s Borg El Arab beefs up generating capacity

Independent power producer Kahraba, a subsidiary of Egypt Kuwait Holding (EKH), has placed an order with energy and technology group Wärtsilä for new generating equipment to add approximately 20MW of output to the existing Borg El Arab power plant, located about 45km southwest of Alexandria in Egypt. Image credit: Wärtsilä.

Egypt’s Borg El Arab beefs up generating capacity

Independent power producer Kahraba, a subsidiary of Egypt Kuwait Holding (EKH), has placed an order with energy and technology group Wärtsilä for new generating equipment.

The new equipment will add 20MW of output to the existing Borg El Arab power plant, located about 45km southwest of Alexandria in Egypt. At the same time Wärtsilä will also upgrade the existing 40MW plant with the latest generation control system.

The Borg El Arab plant currently operates with four Wärtsilä 34SG engines running on natural gas. As a result of increased industrial demand for electricity in the region, additional generating capacity is needed.

Magdi El Badry, Chairman & Managing Director of Kahraba says that two additional Wärtsilä 34SG engines were deemed to be the optimal solution. “Industrial growth is vital to the region’s economic development, and a reliable power supply is essential for driving this growth.”

Limiting the environmental footprint

According to Marc Thiriet, Director Wärtsilä Energy Africa West, the plant’s environmental impact is mitigated by operating the engines on locally available natural gas. “Furthermore, the flexibility of the Wärtsilä engines will enable the system to incorporate increasing levels of energy from renewable sources,” says Thiriet.

Egypt, which has one of the largest electricity grids on the African continent, is making increasing use of renewable energy. The government has set targets for renewables to comprise 42% of the country’s electricity mix by 2035, based on rapid solar and wind energy deployment.

The fast-starting and stopping capabilities of Wärtsilä’s gas engines provide the grid balancing needed to compensate for the intermittency of renewables.

According to Thiriet, Wärtsilä engines are ready to operate on sustainable fuels in the future. “Our engines use synthetic and carbon-neutral methane and methanol, and hydrogen-blends. Sustainable fuels together with engines can take care of long-term energy storage needs for periods with persistently low wind or solar conditions,” says Thiriet.

Kahraba is one of Egypt’s most prominent IPP companies and the country’s only authorised private buyer and seller of gas. Wärtsilä has delivered several power generating projects for Kahraba and other subsidiaries of EKH. The extended Borg El Arab plant is expected to become fully operational in 2023.

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