The German Agency of International Cooperation (GIZ) currently is examining the prospect of setting up a windmill farm on the heights of Thala, in the Governorate of Kasserine, in central-west Tunisia. The sole source of income from the town of Thala stems from agriculture. The town, like the rest of the Tunisian hinterland has a strong need for new development projects.
The project involves the implementation of a park that would generate between 60 and 120 Megawats, and is intended to supply energy-consuming industries established in the region, such as concrete plants.
Ulrich Laumanns, Project Manager for Renewable Energies And Energetic Efficiency at the GIZ, was recently in Tunis for a workshop on renewable energy. He indicated that GIZ has just completed the feasibility study for the wind farm. The preliminary review shows that the capacity of the new wind farm must be equal or higher than Sidi Daoud’s wind farm, in the Cap Bon Peninsula. The farm, which is exploited by the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG), has a production capacity of 55 Megawats. Theoretically, the Thala wind farm should include a minimum of around 30 wind wills with a unit capacity of 2 Megawats. Other studies are required to determine the choice of equipment to be installed.
The study also reveals that wind power could allow firms higher competitiveness, as they provide an alternative to STEG-supplied electricity. Laumanns says that certain equipment will have to be imported, such as wind turbines and wind power mills, several components however, can be supplied by local operators. In fact, Sidi Daoud’s wind farm masts were made by a Tunisian company, and local businesses had taken charge of electric inter-connection operations and of civil engineering.
The Thala windmill farm represents a great opportunity for specialized Tunisian firms to develop and promote their expertise, through partnerships with important international companies in the field of renewable energies. The project is expected to kick-start mid-2013, once the preliminary studies are complete.
Thala and Kasserine, best known for being home to the Tunisian Revolution which shook the country earlier this year, might soon become known for wind mills, and be the setting for a positive wind of change for Tunisia’s interior regions.
Source: Le Quotidien