Yemen to build first wind power

A meeting was held in Sana’a headed by the Minister of Electricity and Energy Awad al-Socatri and Chairman of Korean Shinhan Company to discuss executive steps to start the works in the wind farm.

Al-Socatri affirmed importance of the wind farm to reduce the power shortage in the country, pointing to the concern of the government to offer all facilities to carry out the wind turbines project on time.

The chairman of the Korean company said that the works in the wind power plant would be started in the two coming months, valuing contributions of the Yemeni government to bring the project into success.

In October 2009, a memo was signed between the ministry and the Korean company to carry out the wind energy project.

The ministry has prepared a study over constructing a wind farm with output of 60 megawatt in Bab al-Mandab and Mocha area. This project will be supplied by Donors, World Bank and Islamic Bank for Development.

Yemen has a long coastal strip of over 2500 kms with a width of 30-60 kms along the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Arabian Sea. Average annual wind speeds measured at 10 m height exceed 8 m/s at most of the coastal sites. There is good potential for wind energy at sites on the coastal strip, in addition to the offshore area. There is also a great wind energy on Yemeni islands and inland hills and mountains.

Some studies have reported that the wind speed is relatively large at high altitudes and coastal areas. Yemen has a unique geographic location. It has a long coastline and plenty of high altitudes. Due to all these characteristics, Yemen is a perfect place for generating energy from the wind. Yemen possesses a very good potential of solar and wind energy. However, the wind energy has not yet been studied seriously in Yemen though there are a few studies about wind speed for some locations.

The Yemeni government and private sector investors plan to set up a wind power plant in Yemen at a total cost of $320 million to generate 182 megawatts of electricity. Work on the project is expected to start in 2011 and will take five years to be completed.

Al-Mocha Wind Farm: The objective is to demonstrate the operational feasibility of wind power (60 MW) at Al-Mocha to be connected to the national grid. To accomplish this, the proposed Project will finance: (a) Al-Mocha Wind Farm; and (b) Technical Assistance to develop local capacity in the development and implementation of wind projects. Decision Meeting scheduled for 8 February 2010. Environmental Assessment Category B. Project: P106069. US$ 20.0/50.0/15.0 (IDA Grant/AFD/IDB). Consulting services to be determined. Public Electricity Corporation, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen, Tel: (967-1) 328-164, Fax: (967-1) 326-214, E-mail:, Contact: Eng. Abdul Mumin Mutahar, Director General.

Minister of Electricity and Energy Awadh al-Suqatri talk about the situation of electricity in the country. He started with electricity output which is ranging between 1200-1300 megawatt across the country, 12 governorates out of 22 are linked to National Electric Network with the output of 850 megawatt. 200 megawatt is bought energy from British Agrreko Company. Governorates of Mahra, Hadramout, Shabwah and Al-Beidha are fed by isolated networks with output estimated at 300 megawatt.

Over problems of operating Mareb Power Station to be operated by gas or Mareb 1, the Minister said Mareb one has faced several problems since its construction till operation. The current problem facing operating the station is technical one, the gas supplied by Safer Company contains impurities and great quantities of diesel.

There are tests on operating the station by a gas coming from Yemen Company for Liquefied Natural Gas, which tests approved it is clean and dry and suitable to the station. For this, 8-inch diameter pipeline from Yemen LNG was extended to station as the second source of solving operation problem, after solutions made by safer to clean the gas have failed.

He affirmed that the forthcoming years will witness carrying out a number of electric projects to promote this vital sector and in keeping pace with great demand of energy resulted by construction expansion.

He affirmed his ministry’s keenness on including the private sector to carry out further projects, whether in generating electricity or distributing it. This is includes in a strategy for the years to come. He revealed mismanagement of Electric General Corporation so that the private sector will manage electric projects in the rural because it approved success.

According to al-Suqatri, every country needs the help of the private sector to cover the power demand because the government alone is not able do this. "Even rich country needs the help of the private sector and that the case in gulf countries."

He indicated that the power shortage has reached 250 megawatt during last summer and that this summer, with entering Mareb 1into the service, will be reduced to 180 megawatt. He explained that by entering Mareb 1 the service, the ministry will dispense 80 megawatt from Agrreko.,,contentMDK:21797345~pagePK:146736~piPK:146830~theSitePK:256299,00.html