Development lender to help Egypt deploy 600 MW of solar in West Nile

Share

The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) has signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for the development of a 600 MW solar power complex in Egypt’s West Nile province, according to the country’s State Information Service.

EETC president Sabah Mashali said the build-own-operate project is being assigned through an auction.

“We are glad to be involved in the design and implementation of a project that will pave the way for more private sector investments in renewable energies,” said Muneer Ferozie, IFC regional manager and head of its transaction advisory group for the Middle East and North Africa.

Ferozie said the IFC – the private sector arm of the World Bank Group – will act as a consultant on the project and for all matters related to the EETC program for renewable energy. The international lender and the transmission company did not disclose additional technical or financial details about the planned installations nor provide a timeframe for implementation. The exact location of the complex is also yet to be confirmed.

Procurement launch

The EETC launched the tender for the 600 MW project in December 2017 with the procurement the country’s first tender for solar under a build-own-operate (BOO) model.

In February 2018, it was reported 18 offers had been received by the EETC for the tender, with bidders including Toyota Tsusho; Orascom; NTPC Ltd; EDRA; a consortium led by Scatec Solar and Azuri Power and including GCL New Energy; and a Masdar-Genco consortium. In September, industry sources told pv magazine five companies were still participating in the tender – including Chinese EPC specialist TBEA Sunoasis – with projects ranging in size from 200 MW to 500 MW of generation capacity.

The EETC announced in September it would accept bids with a maximum tariff of $0.025/kWh for the 600 MW project after seeing the price of solar power fall below the $0.03 threshold a month earlier, in a tender for the 200 MW Kom Ombo solar project, itself another BOO procurement.

Egypt is developing huge solar capacity at the Benban PV complex under a now-expired FIT scheme, with 1.8 GW of capacity set to be connected to the grid by the end of September. The country is also supporting rooftop PV through net metering. The EETC is reviewing six bids for the Kom Ombo tender, the lowest of which — at $0.02752/kWh — was submitted by Saudi energy group ACWA Power.