Scatec Soalr is planning to invest $300 million in Egypt to develop between 150 and 200 MW of new solar PV projects in Egypt in the next two to three years.
Scatec CEO Raymond Carlsen has said that the company and its finance partners would develop, build, own and operate the solar plants.
The Norwegian company is currently developing a 50 MW PV project in Egypt, where the government is looking to install 2.3 GW of solar power in the next two years.
Scatec signed a memorandum of understanding with Mohamed Salah El-Sobki, chairman of Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) at the Egypt for the Future summit in Sharm El-Sheikh over the weekend, securing land to start the development of 50 MW PV power under the government’s new feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme. In a sign of the growing importance of solar PV development in Egypt, Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Egypt’s minister of Electricity & Renewable Energy, joined Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende, for the signing of the MoU.
Scatec’s ambitious plans in Egypt
The agreement represents the start of Scatec’s ambitious plans in the country. The company has launched new subsidiary Scatec Egypt for Solar Energy SAE with the aim to develop, finance, build, own and operate its first 50 MW solar power plant, which the company was awarded as part of the first phase of the feed-in tariff program for solar and wind energy launched by the Egyptian government last year.
"Scatec Solar is impressed by the determination of the government of Egypt to address the energy challenges by inviting experienced solar companies to rapidly build up large-scale solar PV capacity in the country," said Carlsen.
In view of Egypts growing power deficit, the government invited proposals from foreign wind and solar developers to construct 4 GW of utility-scale solar and wind power (2 GW each) as well as 300 MW of decentralized solar through 2017. The government is aiming for a rapid deployment, with the first phase of projects to start construction this year.
$10 billion for 6 GW of solar by 2022
Egypt has set an overall installed capacity share target of 20% renewables by 2022, which would mean the installation of 12 GW of new renewable capacity in the next seven years, of which about half could be solar.
According to Scatec, the foreign investments required to build 6 GW of solar could reach as high as $10 billion, but the company notes that such investments will lead to savings many times this amount in reduced cost of imported fossil fuels.
Scatec has been present in Jordan since 2011 and in Egypt since 2013. In Jordan, Scatec Solar has raised $135 million to build three solar power plants with a combined capacity of 43 MW, all to be grid connected this year. In Egypt, Scatec is also shortlisted to participate in the country’s tender program for 200 MW in Kom Ombo in addition to its current project under the FiT program.
"Solar has the potential to become a huge new source of power in Egypt," Carlsen added. "Experience shows that such a program also can become a much-needed boost to employment, skills development as well as industrial and social development in Egypt."