Solar electric panels are shown installed on the roof of the Hanover Olympic building, the first building to offer individual solar-powered net-zero apartments in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 6, 2017 - REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
CAIRO - 27 February 2018: Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt Ambassador Ivan Surkos, along with Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar and Minister of Electricity and Energy Mohammad Shaker. inaugurated on Tuesday the Multipurpose Applications by Thermodynamic Solar (MATS) Plant in Borg El Arab city, Alexandria.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by President of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) Mahmoud Sakr and a number of the ambassadors of the EU member states.
The EU delegation in Cairo said that the EU participates in funding the project, which is considered a research facility and a multi-purpose solar plant. It aims to use suitable technology that would contribute to integrating solar energy into the current energy system to secure a stable energy provider for consumers.
In his speech, Surkos stressed the importance of overcoming several challenges in Europe and Egypt including the increasing rate of resources scarcity and demand on energy in addition to the climate change.
There are major factors pushing forward Egypt to produce energy from renewable resources, he added.
He pointed out that MATS is good model of effective and successful cooperation among research bodies as well as public and private sectors in Egypt and Europe.
MATS is a combination of advanced solar-energy-producing technologies that are integrated with desalinated water and other energy sources available on site.
The plant has been integrated into the local electricity, gas and water distribution networks. Along with these prominent technological results other advantages stem from training courses, capacity building and novel job opportunities for local workers in such a strategic sector for North Africa as renewable energy sources.
The research consortium partners strongly aim at transforming a semi-desert region into a technological hub whilst preserving and consolidating the collaboration between the EU and Egypt over time in sustainable research, innovation and development.
The Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) is the key partner of this project while Egypt's ASRT is the main research partner.
The total cost of the project is € 22 million, with grant a offered by the EU worth € 12.5 million.