Attaqa pumped storage power plant is a 2,400MW power plant being developed on the Attaqa mountain in Suez, Egypt. Credit: Zeinab Mohamed.
Artelia and AF Consult have been appointed as the owner’s engineers for the project. Credit: AF Consult.
Attaqa pumped storage power project is expected to be commissioned in 2024. Credit: Blondinrikard Fröberg.

Attaqa Mountain pumped storage power plant is a 2.4GW hydroelectric power project that is being planned for development in Suez, Egypt.

Also known as the Mount Attaqa or Gebel Attaqa pumped storage power facility, it will be one of the biggest and first facilities of its kind in the Middle East.

Hydro Power Projects Executive Authority (HPPEA) will be the implementing agency of the project under the Government of Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy.

The project is being developed with an estimated $2.7bn investment. Scheduled for commissioning in 2024, it will be the first power plant in Egypt to generate electricity using water storage and pumping during peak times.

Attaqa project development details

The Attaqa power project is being developed as part of Egypt’s plans to diversify its energy sources and meet the growing demand for electricity in the Suez region.

HPPEA and the Egyptian Electricity Authority approved the design and feasibility studies for the project in June 1998. However, the project development began when the Government of Egypt and Chinese state-owned Sinohydro Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding to build and finance the project in March 2015.

The key project management and consultancy contracts for the pumped storage project were subsequently awarded in June 2017.

The Export-Import Bank of China agreed to provide $2.6bn for the project in February 2019, according to a report.

In June 2019, The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy was in negotiations with the country’s National Centre for Planning State Lands Usage to secure additional land use for the construction of the plant.

Attaqa Mountain pumped storage power plant location and make-up

The Attaqa pumped storage project is located on the Attaqa Mountain at the northern end of the Red Sea mountain range, approximately 15km west of Suez . The total surface area of the project site is estimated to be 168,000m².

“The water flow from the upper reservoir will be used to drive the turbines for power generation during peak electricity demand.”

The facility will use two (lower and upper) water reservoirs with 7.3 million cubic metres of live storage capacity each, six large-diameter high-pressure penstocks and an underground powerhouse equipped with six 400MW reversible pump/turbine units. The maximum gross head will be 600m.

The water flow from the upper reservoir will be used to drive the turbines for power generation during peak electricity demand. Similarly, the water from the lower reservoir will be pumped back to the upper reservoir for storage during off-peak periods.

Contractors involved

Sinohydro is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor, as well as the financier for the project. It is a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned engineering and construction company PowerChina.

A consortium of French design firm Artelia and Swedish engineering and consulting company AF Consult was appointed as the owner’s engineer for the project in June 2017.

The contract includes project management, engineering review, quality control, construction monitoring and management and commissioning and start-up services.

Suez-based contractor Bouhi carried out civil works relating to the access tracks to the mountain top, as well as for the water supplies and well drilling.

Engineering consultancy firm SWECO had undertaken the design and feasibility studies for the project for a proposed 2,100MW capacity in 1998.

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency supported the technical feasibility study for the expanded 2.4GW Attaqa pumped storage power plant.