Egypt issues tender for 600 MW of solar

The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, EETC has issued a tender for the deployment of 600 MW of PV capacity in the West of Nile Area.

The EETC is now inviting those interested developers and investors that have previous experience in installing at least three PV plants with a capacity of 100 MW each, to submit their technical and financial bids. The pre-qualification documents have to be received by the EETC by January 14, 2018.

Large-scale PV projects selected in the tender will be built under the Build Own Operate (BOO) policy, and will be awarded long-term PPAs with the EETC.

This is the first tender for the development of solar parks in Egypt outside of the FIT scheme, and under a new auction mechanism for solar and renewables, which was announced by the Egyptian government over the past months.

In the first two rounds of the FIT program, around 2 GW of PV capacity was allocated. The majority of these projects, which are granted a 25-year FIT contract under the program, will be located in the 1.8 GW Benban solar complex, near Aswan in upper Egypt.

Most of the projects developed under Round 2 of the program, which were halted for a long time, have reached financial close in the past months. This comes after the government’s September announcement of a revised phase for the program, which slashed FIT rates and cleared up an arbitration dispute.

Another major issue for the development of projects under the FIT program was the sharp devaluation of the Egyptian dollar in recent years, which led to challenging conditions for securing financing for the projects. Local banks struggled to finance projects, for instance, where the FIT was based on local currency, particularly where debt was raised in USD.

In October, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development identified 16 new solar projects in Egypt, with a cumulative capacity of 750 MW to receive financing, while the International Finance Corp said it was supporting the development of a further 13 solar parks.

The Egyptian government aims to generate 20% of the nation’s electricity from clean sources by 2022.