EBRD finances solar power plant in Benban

It will be built by Alfanar Energy, a Saudi-based construction and electric manufacturing company.

Following the signing of two projects last month, this is the third project under the EBRD’s framework, which is expected to finance a total of 16 such projects, delivering 750 MW of solar power. The new solar plant is located at the Benban complex in Upper Egypt, which upon completion will be the largest solar installation in the world with a planned total capacity of 1.8 GW.

The EBRD loan will be complemented by a parallel loan of up to US$ 28.5 million from the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD Director, Power and Energy Utilities, commented: “We are delighted to work with Alfanar Energy and to support them in such an important investment. The EBRD has been a firm supporter of renewable energy development in Egypt, providing policy advice, technical assistance and financing. We are very pleased to take another step forward in this area, and to continue our successful cooperation with ICD as well.”

Jamal Wadi, Chief Executive Officer of Alfanar Energy, said: “The collaboration with the EBRD and ICD for financing this project has been a pivotal element in taking the project forward. Globally, countries are experiencing the effects of climate change, and investors and financiers of renewable energy are vital in promoting more investment in the region for green energy and in scaling down the effects of global warming. This partnership will assist the socio-economic development of Benban, Egypt, by providing the local population with infrastructure, jobs and skills training. The region has tremendous potential for generating power from natural resources and Alfanar looks forward to working with the EBRD and ICD on future renewables projects in solar, wind and biomass.”

Projects developed under the EBRD’s Egypt Renewable Energy Framework will bring a significant stimulus to the local economy. The associated construction will also provide benefits through the transfer of skills and the creation of long-term jobs in the operation and maintenance of the power plants.

Support for the framework has been provided by the SEMED Energy Efficiency Policy Dialogue Framework, funded by the European Neighbourhood Investment Facility, and the SEMED Multi-Donor Account.

To date, the EBRD has invested more than €3.7 billion directly in renewable energy, supporting 111 projects in 23 countries and funding more than 5.7 GW of capacity.

Egypt 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 EBRD’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services and support for transport services. The Bank has also provided technical assistance to more than 500 small and medium-sized local enterprises.