Acwa Power reaches financial close on three solar PV plants in Egypt
The North African state is targetting generating 20 per cent of its energy from renewables
Acwa Power has reached financial close with multilateral banks for three photovoltaic (PV) projects in Egypt’s largest solar power complex in the southern Aswan province, the Saudi power-plant developer said on Monday.
“Our first projects in Egypt have not only achieved financial close but are three photovoltaic power plants supporting the Egyptian government in its pursuit of securing 20 per cent of renewable energy in the power generation mix by year 2022,” Paddy Padmanathan, president and chief executive said in a statement.
Seventy-five per cent of the $190m project with a capacity of 165.5MWp will be developed through a non-recourse project debt secured from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The latter tranche is with the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and covers the remaining 25 per cent of the cost financed with equity capital, the firm said in a statement.
Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous state has turned towards renewable energy to meet its power deficits. Its feed-in-tariff programme aims to secure an initial generation of 2,000MW of solar capacity and 2,000MW of wind capacity. Egypt currently meets power requirements through fossil fuel-based energy sources.
The three PV plants with power generating capacities of 67.5 MWp, 70 MWp and 28 MWp at Benban are being developed as part of the government’s second round of the feed-in tariff programme.
Construction will begin in the first quarter of this year while the commissioning is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2018. The installed capacity is sufficient to meet power requirements of 80,000 households, the firm said in a statement.
The Riyadh-based renewables developer, shortlisted on Thursday to participate in Saudi Arabia’s first round of renewables programme, is partnering with China and Egyptian conglomerate’s Tawakol and Hassan Allam Holding to develop its Egyptian projects.
Upper Egypt’s Benban is being developed to include 41 privately-owned plants to generate 1.8 gigawatts of power by this year, making it one of the largest such complexes in the world.
In October, Spain’s Acciona Energia and Swicorp of Saudi Arabia said they would construct three 50MW plants at a cost of $180m in the area.
Last year, the Egyptian solar industry attracted $1.8 billion in investment from EBRD, Islamic Development Bank, and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.
Updated: January 8, 2018 06:04 PM