Egypt: German consortium plans 1 GW vertically integrated solar factory


A consortium led by German solar company PSE AG is planning to build a 1 GW vertically integrated solar module manufacturing facility at an unspecified location in Egypt.

The announcement was given by the country’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, which, along with the Minister of Military Production, Mohamed Saeed Al-Assar, and the Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Dr. Mohamed Shaker, was present at the signature of a first contract between the Ministry of Military Production and the company.

The contract relates to the implementation of a feasibility study for the project, which is being financed with KWD 200,000 (around $594,000) by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED).

“The purpose of the study,” the ministry said in its press release, “is to establish high-return investment projects with a view to make use of Egypt Silica sand in the manufacturing of photovoltaic panels that are used in electricity generation from solar power.”

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Al-Assar said that the project for the factory will be implemented in a 2-3-year time frame, after the feasibility study will be concluded, and that local silica sand provider Egypt Silica Sand will also be part of the project.

Modules produced at the facility will be used for a 1 GW solar plant that will also be built in the frame of the agreement between the Egyptian Ministry of Military Production and Egypt Silica Sand. The location for the huge solar plant also remained undisclosed, with no more  details on the two projects being provided.

The Egyptian government is currently supporting solar through a FIT scheme. In September 2016, however, the Egyptian government announced an updated phase for its feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme, dramatically reducing the FIT rate for PV projects to US$0.084 and US$0.078/kWh. At the time, several developers said the new rates could bring into question the viability of several projects, although the new FIT level was more in line to what was seen in other regional markets.

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