Egypt: First project contracts signed under EBRD framework

In June, the EBRD approved a $500 million credit facility for the construction of 16 solar projects delivering 750 MW of new capacity at the Benban site in Upper Egypt. Now, contracts have been signed for two 50 MW PV plants, the first to be built under this framework.

Paris based financial institute Proparco will provide half of the financing for the projects, with the other half of the total $116 million coming from the EBRD. The projects will operate under Egypt’s feed in tariff scheme, announced in September 2016.

The two power plants will be built and operated by Egyptian subsidiaries of French company EREN Renewable Energy, and Dubai based developer Access Power.

“We are very pleased to sign the first projects today, just two months after the EBRD board of Directors approved our Egypt Renewable Energy Framework, said Janet Heckmann, EBRD’s Managing Director for the the Southern & Eastern Mediterranean region. “These are truly groundbreaking projects, the first to reach this milestone in Egypt’s ambitious scheme to exploit its outstanding renewable resources.”

The $500 million approved by EBRD is set to finance a total of 16 PV projects totaling 750 MW, as part of the Benban complex. Benban is set to have a total capacity of 1.8 GW once completed, which will primarily be composed of separate 50 MW projects such as these.

“We are proud to have worked tirelessly over the past two years with the EBRD, EREN; Access Power and the Egyptian Authorities to establish the first building blocks of the Benban solar complex,” says Alice Lucas, Senior Investment Officer for the Energy and Infrastructure Division at Proparco. “As the first two projects being fully financed in round two of the FIT program, these are setting a path for investments to follow.”