Egypt wants cheaper solar bids, lowers bar to $0.025/kWh

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After seeing the price of solar power crossing the $0.03 threshold in the tender for the 200 MW Kom Ombo solar project in early August, the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, EETC has now set a  maximum price of $0.025 for the ongoing tender for 600 MW of PV capacity in the West of Nile Area.

Local industry sources confirmed to pv magazine that the EETC has informed all tender participants of the maximum price, as reported by local portal Daily News Egypt. According to its article, five companies are participating in the tender, including Chinese EPC company, TBEA Sunoasis, with projects ranging in size from 200 MW to 500 MW. 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.

In the tender for the Kom Ombo project, EETC is currently reviewing six bids, the lowest of which – $0.02752/kWh – was submitted by Saudi energy group, ACWA Power. The second lowest offer came from Spanish developer, Fotowatio at $0.02791 per kWh. This was followed by Norway’s Scatec Solar, at $0.03045 per kWh. The three other consortia – EDF-Marubeni-El Sewedy; Engie-Orascom; and Actis-Enerpal – offered $0.0315, $0.034 and $0.035 per kWh, respectively.

Offers under the $0.025 per kWh threshold in the MENA region have been so far made only in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi (UAE), and Jordan.

Egypt’s two ongoing solar tenders are the first that are being implemented after the Egyptian government decided to move from FITs to auctions. The FIT program was held in two different rounds and saw the contracting of approximately 2 GW of PV capacity.

Most of this capacity is located in Benban, near Aswan in upper Egypt, where a 1.8 GW solar complex is currently under construction, with around half of its installed power already in operation.