Egypt green ammonia project in the Suez Canal Economic Zone

Egypt has a significant potential for renewable energy. The Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy has set the target to generate 42% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035. Egypt has also plans to develop electricity interconnectors with several African countries. In 2021, the renewable electricity installed capacity was about 6,226 MW, which amounted to about 10.55% of the total installed capacity (approx. 59 GW).

Egypt is the sixth largest urea producer in the world and is among the top 10 suppliers of fertilizers worldwide. The country has increased its food exports since 2020, reaching $4.1 billion in 2021. Egypt has also increased its liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe. In April 2022, Egypt signed an agreement with the European Union (EU) to cooperate on LNG and renewable hydrogen trade between Europe and Africa. Egypt will also be the host of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh in November 2022.

In 1960 one of the first alkaline electrolysers, Aswan Electrolyser (KIMA), with a capacity of 165MW was installed in the Assuan hydropower dam in Egypt. These electrolysers are still in operation. The government is currently working on a hydrogen plan and Egypt has signed several initial agreements and MoU with project developers from Norway, Denmark, France, UAE, Australia, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. for the development of renewable hydrogen and ammonia projects.

A project for renewable ammonia production is being developed by Scatec, a Norwegian renewable energy project developer, together with the General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE), The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE), the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), and the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA). The facility is expected to have a production capacity of one million tonnes of Ammonia annually and to be located in the Ain Sokhna Industrial Zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone near the Egypt Basic Industries Corporation (EBIC), which produces ammonia. The consortium selected US-based Plug Power to provide 100 MW of electrolysers for installation.

Scatec (NO) is a large solar PV project developer in Egypt. In 2017, Scatec signed 25-year Power Purchase Agreements with the Egypt Electricity Transmission Company for delivery of electricity from solar PV plants with a total capacity of 380 MW using bifacial modules that can produce electricity from both sides of the solar cell.

Water scarcity is a significant problem in Egypt. The country has a significant water deficit that is straining its economy and can lead to social conflicts in Egypt and conflicts with its neighbours as well as food price shocks. Seawater desalination would be required for hydrogen production via electrolysis since the country cannot deviate fresh water resources for this purpose.