Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mongolian Minister of Energy officially opens country’s first wind farm

Mongolia’s first wind farm, located deep in the Mongolian Steppe, 70km from its capital, Ulaanbaatar, was officially opened by the Mongolian Minister of Energy, Mishig Sonompil.
The multi-million dollar Salkhit wind development, which consists of 31 GE wind turbines, will provide 50 megawatts of clean power for the country, offsetting coal powered generation and costly energy imports from other countries.
The opening ceremony, which took place on site, was attended by dignitaries from the Mongolian Government; developer, Clean Energy LLC; members of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; representatives of GE and Newcom; and project technical adviser, SgurrEnergy.
The ceremony’s 11 key speakers each pushed a button to bring the wind farm’s turbines online and commence the first grid connected, wind energy generation in Mongolia.
David Scott, the Honorary Consul of Mongolia in Scotland, said, “Wind energy represents a step change in Mongolian fuel generation. The opening of Salkhit wind farm today is an exciting first for the country and an outstanding achievement for developer, Clean Energy. This project will make a positive contribution to the Government’s target of generating 25% of its energy from renewables by 2020.”
SgurrEnergy, which is part of Wood Group, has been working for developer, Clean Energy LLC, on the landmark project since June 2011. The Glasgow-based company has provided expertise across resource analysis, development, tendering, financing, contracting and construction, supporting the project from conceptual feasibility stages, right through to operation.
Neal Detert, project manager at Clean Energy LLC, said, “Completing this landmark project is going to change the face of the electricity sector in Mongolia. We are breaking the ground for a pipeline of future privately funded wind farm and power plant projects in Mongolia, and SgurrEnergy has helped us to lead the way.”
Andrew Barker, SgurrEnergy’s director of engineering, said, “SgurrEnergy is delighted to be standing with Clean Energy as they open Mongolia’s first wind farm. This is a very proud day for our technical teams in Glasgow and Beijing; and our site team of experts from our offices in Vancouver, Glasgow and Portland; who have lived and breathed the project on a daily basis. We congratulate Amgaa, Neal and their team for achieving a first for their country.”
Mongolia is currently undergoing rapid economic and energy development and the Salkhit wind farm will help to ease the country’s reliance on external energy sources and offset current coal-fired generation. Mongolia currently produces 813 megawatts of electricity domestically but demand is around 850 megawatts and growing at a rate of approximately 15% per year.