Double wind power milestone for renewable energy in Africa

31 Mar 2022

Lekela, renewable power generation company delivering utility-scale projects across Africa, has double the reason to celebrate. Its West Bakr wind farm in Egypt has entered into commercial operation, close on the heels of its Taiba N’Diaye wind farm in Senegal. Our renewable energy experts acted as owner’s engineer on both projects. 

With both wind farms operational, each contributes hugely to the countries’ different energy profiles. At Taiba N’Diaye in Senegal, completed mid-2021, the 46-turbine wind farm is the country’s first renewable wind power source and represents a 15% uplift in its generation capacity. In Egypt, the 96 turbines installed by Siemens Gamesa for West Bakr Wind increase the country’s wind power capacity by 18%, preventing over 530,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. The completion of West Bakr at the end of 2021 is a major step towards the Egyptian government’s ambitious goal to produce 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022. 

A multi-disciplinary, multi-national effort  

Acting as owner’s engineer and relying on its wide range of international expertise and local networks, Tractebel provided consulting and construction management services for both projects. Tasks included project management, construction management and contract and claim management, as well as permanent site supervision, health, safety and environment (HSE) monitoring services, design review and manufacturing-construction-commissioning supervision services. All delivered by multi-disciplinary teams of local and international engineers on-site and back-office (Belgium, Germany and Romania). 

A contribution to social empowerment and the environment  

As with all of Lekela’s projects in Africa, the focus is not only the increase in wind power capacity, but also contributing to communities through a number of socio-economic initiatives. On top of the many employment opportunities created during both wind farms' construction, in Senegal the Taiba N’Diaye community benefits from a program to improve education, enterprise and the environment. This commitment has seen the construction of two new marketplaces, an IT centre for local school children and electrical training for young adults. In Egypt, the focus is on an apprenticeship and skills development program, with the specific goal to increase female engineer participation in Egypt’s renewable sector. Another initiative contributes to the funding and implementation of a Migratory Birds Monitoring training program and the development of a “shut down on demand” system at the West Bakr site to help protect the local ecosystem.  

The 250 MW West Bakr wind farm in Egypt 

New wind farms in Senegal and Egypt bring Africa closer to its renewable energy targets 

“Reaching commercial operation of West Bakr wind farm is a huge achievement, which will help push Egypt closer to its renewable energy targets and provide a significant uplift to its wind power capacity. With the construction being carried out almost entirely during the pandemic, it proves that sources of clean, reliable energy can be constructed even during the most challenging conditions. We want to thank Tractebel, and our fellow partners and contractors, for their work on the project.” 

Chris Ford, Chief Operating Officer, Lekela 

“It’s a pleasure for us to work with a client like Lekela that's so dedicated to boosting the renewable energy generation in Africa while caring for environmental protection and the social benefits to local communities. It has been a real challenge to realize this first-in-country wind farm, but with all parties working tightly together we managed a timely COD to Senelec’s full satisfaction, as they were urgently waiting for this renewable power to enter the Senegalese grid.”   

Johan Craemers, Tractebel’s Project Manager for Taiba wind farm, on site in Senegal

We look forward to more collaborations in clean wind power to progress towards a global carbon-neutral future. No matter how difficult or challenging the circumstances, we believe in this way forward. It’s rewarding to have a meaningful role to play in taking Africa closer to reaching its sustainability goals. 

Maxim Janssens, Tractebel’s Project & Site Manager for the West Bakr wind farm  

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