New solar plants to enter operations next month: NREA



Sun, 08 Oct 2017 - 12:20 GMT


Sun, 08 Oct 2017 - 12:20 GMT

The 9th Egyptian-German Renewables Day held October 8 in Cairo- Egypt Today staff

The 9th Egyptian-German Renewables Day held October 8 in Cairo- Egypt Today staff

CAIRO - 8 October 2017: Three new solar power plants, under the first round of the government's feed-in-tariff scheme (FiT), will start operations in November, head of the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), Mohamed El-Khayat said Sunday.

A number of 32 solar developers have expressed interest in taking part in the FiT second round, with 20 of them signing the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Ministry of Electricity, Khayat said.

Khayat made the statement during the ninth Egyptian-German Renewables Day that kicked off Sunday in Cairo to promote cooperation in renewable energy between both countries.

"The FiT scheme eyes to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) to the energy sector in Egypt," Khayat said, adding that 200 new renewable energy companies were established in the country for that aim.

Trying to avoid the negative impact of global challenges in the renewable energy sector, Egypt is implementing a plan to diversify energy resources so as to generate 20 percent of the energy mix from renewable sources by 2022 and aiming to double that figure by 2035, Khayat added.

During his speech, Khayat announced that NREA will launch within weeks a digital map for solar and wind plant investment opportunities, "to facilitate it for new market entries," he said.

In the same conference, head of FiT program at the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), Lamya Abdel Hady, said that more companies will announce the financial closure of their FiT projects by the end of October.

"The Ministry of Electricity will issue tenders and auctions for 36MW capacity of solar projects to be held under the BOO basis (build, own, operate)," Abdel Hady announced.

Regarding the EETC's work for the FiT, Abdel Hady said it ensures the availability of needed transmission lines, "until now, we have four substations being built in Benban that are 90 percent complete," he said.

Several solar power plants are scheduled to be built under the government’s FiT scheme, which will involve private sector companies building solar plants in Aswan, Minya and the Gulf of Suez.

The scheme, put forward by Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker, eyes generating 20 percent of Egypt’s energy supply from renewable energy resources by 2022.

Implemented over two rounds, the first round of the scheme witnessed three developers pursuing their projects at Benban city in Aswan. Saudi Arabian group Fawaz Alhokair’s FAS Energy, ELF and Infinity Solar have already started construction works at the site.

In July, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) approved $660 million in funding to 11 FiT projects in Benban, near Aswan, according to an International Cooperation Ministry statement. These projects are worth a total of $730 million and have a total capacity of 500MW.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is also expected to finance a total of 16 solar projects in Egypt at a total capacity of 750MW. It pledged $500 million in funding framework for the FiT project.



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