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Rehabilitation of hydropower plants in Aswan – Securing an important renewable energy resource

After signing the agreement at EEHC

After signing the agreement at EEHC, © KfW

20.04.2022 - Pressemitteilung

At the beginning of April, a contract worth EUR 26 million was signed in Cairo for the rehabilitation of the Aswan Hydropower Plants - for HPGC (Hydro Plants Generation Company) Chairman Eng. Hesham Kamal signed, for EEHC (Egyptian Electricity Holding Company) Chairman Eng. Gaber Dessouki and for KfW Thorsten Schneider (Team Leader Energy North Africa) and Dr Bernd Siegfried (Head of Cairo Office). HPGC owns and operates all three hydropower plants in Aswan. The total cost of replacing all transformers and related rehabilitation measures is estimated at around EUR 41 million. An increase in financing of EUR 15 million is expected to be signed soon.

The Aswan High Dam was built between 1960 and 1971. It not only regulates the water flow and thus enables permanent irrigation and protects against flooding - the three hydropower plants in Aswan generate electricity for 7.5 million people. They have a combined installed capacity of 2,650 MW. The power plants were commissioned in 1960 and 1985 respectively - so they are now „getting on in years“. For decades, the machines of these power plants were heavily stressed by the high number of start-up and stop operations due to their use for peak and medium loads. Important components are no longer state of the art. Thus, a considerable loss of environmentally friendly electricity generation is imminent.

The Aswan Dam
The Aswan Dam© KfW / Photothek Ute Grabowsky

Therefore, for several years now, all facilities in the Aswan Hydropower Plants have been successively rehabilitated. With this project the transformers will be exchanged to guarantee maximum generation of the hydropower plants. Securing the limited hydropower potential is an important building block for Egypt's sustainable electricity supply. Hydropower enjoys high priority with the Egyptian government for environmental and economic reasons as well as to ensure grid stability. Furthermore, as a source of electricity that can be called up at short notice, hydropower can play an important role in the integration of fluctuating renewable energies in the future.

Egypt also counts on renewable energies

Energy is one of the key sectors for economic growth and employment promotion. The Egyptian government has set itself the goal of generating 42 % of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035. Egypt has excellent locational conditions and a large expansion potential for wind and solar energy - a good starting point. For many years, German Development Cooperation has been successfully supporting Egypt in the expansion of renewable energies and is setting a new focus on the expansion of energy efficiency and digital grid solutions. Innovative and sustainable project solutions against the backdrop of significantly rising electricity tariffs and economic growth, while at the same time taking climate and environmental aspects into account, are therefore KfW's intended goal when planning, financing and implementing projects in the energy sector.

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