The EBRD and Proparco have together provided US 116 million of financing for the construction and operation of two 50 MW solar photovoltaic power plants. These are the first two projects to be financed under the second round of Egypt's ambitious feed-in tariff scheme and will be part of the planned 1.8 GW Benban solar complex in Aswan province, in the southern area of Upper Egypt.
The two projects are the first under the EBRD’s new US$ 500 million framework for renewable energy in Egypt, which is expected to finance a total of 16 such projects delivering 750 MW of capacity and under Proparco’s dedicated envelope for solar projects in Egypt.
The new facilities will be constructed, operated and owned by two Egyptian subsidiaries of the French renewable energy company EREN Renewable Energy and Access Power, the Dubai-based developer, owner and operator of sustainable power plants.
More than 50 per cent of the population in the Aswan region live below the poverty line. The EBRD’s and Proparco’s solar projects in Benban will bring a significant short-term boost to the economy through the construction activities. They will also provide benefits through the transfer of skills and the creation of long-term jobs in the operation and maintenance of the power plants.
Between 2007 and 2016 the EBRD invested more than €3.5 billion directly in renewable energy, supporting 104 projects in 23 countries, and funding more than 5.3 GW of capacity.
Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been receiving funding since 2012. To date the Bank has invested €2.6 billion in 49 projects in the country. The EBRD’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services and support for transport services. The Bank has also provided technical assistance support to more than 500 small and medium-sized local enterprises.
Proparco pursues an ambitious climate strategy and has pledged to commit over 30% of its annual funding towards climate mitigation projects. In the last 10 years, Proparco has committed over €2 billion in financing dedicated to fighting climate change, including over €1 billion for renewable energy projects.
Proparco and its parent institution, Agence Française de Développement, have been consistently financing projects in Egypt: nearly €2 billion in financing has been granted since the first loan was made in 2006.
Illustration Photo: Kuraymat's Solar Power Plant in Egypt (credits: Green Prophet / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))