Renewable energy in Egypt has received a boost following the approval of a $500 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to finance the construction of 16 plants that will deliver 750MW of solar photovoltaic power across the country.
The financing supports the development of private renewable energy projects under the Egyptian government’s feed-in-tariff programme that aims to stimulate private investment in over 4GW of wind and solar power.
EBRD has been working with Egyptian authorities to meet their goals in the area since 2014.
“This is a major milestone in our support for renewable energy in Egypt. We are delighted now to be in a position to commit very significant financing to projects, which we expect to start construction before the end of 2017,” said Harry Boyd-Carpenter, Director, Head of Power and Energy.
The plants which will be constructed on one large site near the village of Benban in Upper Egypt are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 900,000 tonnes annually.
They will be the first private utility-scale renewable projects in the sector that is dominated by the use of hydrocarbons.
The Benban plants will boost the Aswan region’s economy through construction activities and provide ongoing benefits through skills transfer and long-term jobs in operation and maintenance.
The EBRD started activities in Egypt in 2012, investing in sectors from financial, agribusiness to infrastructure and manufacturing and has to date invested more than €2.3 billion through 43 projects in the country.
It recently provided a $25 million loan to finance the working capital of United Metals Company (UMC), an Egyptian manufacturer of copper rods; and $186 million for the development and expansion of the services of Fayoum Water and Wastewater Company.