ACWA Power gets financing to deploy 165.5 MW at Egypt’s Benban solar complex

Saudi operator of power generation assets, ACWA Power has reached financial closing for three large-scale PV projects in Egypt.

The company said it has secured financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for the development of three solar power plants with a combined capacity of 165.5 MW at the 1.8 GW solar complex of Benban, in Aswan, southern Egypt.

Overall, the projects will be built thanks to an investment of €190 million, of which 75% was provided by EBRD and 25% from ICBC.

Construction on the three PV plants, which have a capacity of 67.5 MW, 70 MW and 28 MW, respectively, will start in the first quarter of this year, with completion scheduled for the end of 2018.

All of the projects are being developed under Egypt’s FIT scheme, were granted a 25-year PPA and will sell power to local state-owned power provider   (EETC).

“Achieving financial close for these projects is a significant milestone – not just for these projects, but as our first projects they establish the foundation for many more opportunities that ACWA Power is pursuing with the Ministry of Electricity,” said ACWA Chief Investment Officer, Rajit Nanda.

EBRD is currently financing around 750 MW of PV projects in Egypt. Egypt, on the other hand,+ is a founding member of the EBRD and has been receiving funding since 2012. To date, the Bank has invested €2.7 billion in 51 projects in the country.

The 1.8 GW Benban solar complex represents the larger portion of the 2 GW of PV capacity allocated by the Egyptian government through the second round its FIT scheme for solar.

The 2 GW target is expected to be achieved via the development of 40 individual solar parks of around 50 MW each as Egypt aims to source 20% of its energy from renewables by 2020.