Saudi energy company Acwa Power and Egyptian engineering firm Hassan Allam Holdings have signed a project agreement to develop a 1.1GW wind project.

The wind project will be located in Egypt’s Gulf of Suez and Gabal el Zeit area and require a $1.5bn investment.

Both companies will work together in the project’s development phase to carry out site studies and secure financing for the facility.

The project is expected to reach financial close by the third quarter of 2024 and become operational by the end of 2026.

Once completed, it will be one of the largest onshore wind facilities in the world and the largest in the Middle East.

The wind farm will have the capacity to generate enough clean energy to power 1.8 million households and displace 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Dr Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi said: “This milestone wind project falls within the framework of the Egyptian government’s strategy to diversify its energy sources and leverage the country’s rich natural resources, especially in renewable energy.

The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy is taking concrete actions to ensure the resilience of our energy strategy, because of the escalating changes that the world is witnessing, which aim to increase the contribution of renewable energy to up to 42% by 2035.”

ACWA Power chairman Mohammad Abunayyan said: “We are honoured to contribute to the strengthening ties of Saudi Arabia, our home, and Egypt via this milestone wind project, and extend our sincerest gratitude to the leaders of both countries in entrusting their faith in our abilities to realise their renewable energy mandates.”

In November 2019, ACWA Power signed a solar power purchase agreement with the Government of Egypt to finance, develop, build and operate a 200MW solar photovoltaic plant.