Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Egyptian solar projects worth $140m begin operations

Elsewedy Electric and EDF Renewables joint venture gains funding for projects from development banks

Egypt is planning to generate 20 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2022. AFP
Egypt is planning to generate 20 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2022. AFP

Two major new solar projects in Egypt with a 130 megawatt peak capacity have begun commercial operations.

The photovoltaic plants are based at Benban, Kom Osbo in Egypt's Aswan province, 830 kilometres south of Cairo and will produce enough energy to power 140,000 homes.

They have been developed, financed, built and are owned by a joint venture between Egypt's Elsewedy Electric and EDF Renewables - the renewable energy arm of French utilities giant Electricite de France (EDF).

It has a 25-year offtake agreement with the state-owned Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, with the project being commissioned under the second round of the Egyptian government's Renewable Energies Feed In Tariff programme created to encourage the development of solar and wind projects in the country.

The bulk, $111 million (Dh407.6m), of the financing for the project came from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and from French development bank Proparco.

"Having those two projects reaching commercial operation successfully today extends the IPPs [independent power projects] portfolio under Elsewedy Electric to include solar photovoltaic in addition to our existing wind and hydro IPPs," Elsewedy Electric's president and chief executive, Ahmed Elsewedy said.

Egypt's Feed In Tariff programme began in October 2014 with an initial goal of commissioning renewables projects capable of generating up to 4,300MW of power - 2,300MW through solar projects and the remaining 2,000MW through wind. Round 2 was launched in September 2016 and saw 30 projects capable of generating 2GW of power receive funding.

Egypt has an eventual target of generating 20 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2022, and 42 per cent by 2035.

Updated: August 19, 2019 04:10 PM

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