The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and its partners – which include private sector commercial banks from the UAE, Japan and the Netherlands – recently announced a $1.1-billion package to support the development of Egypt’s largest wind and solar projects. Construction of both projects is expected to start this month.
The financing package has been issued to Abydos Solar Company to support the implementation of the 560 MW Abydos Solar PV plant located near Kom Ombo in Egypt’s Aswan Governorate, as well as Amunet Wind Power Company to develop the 505 MW Amunet Wind project located in the Gulf of Suez region.
The solar PV plant is expected to come online in 18 months, while the wind power project will be commissioned in 30 months. Both facilities serve to ensure domestic energy access and affordability, as well as diversify the energy matrix in line with Egypt’s National Climate Change Strategy 2050, which aims to derive 42% of total energy from renewables by 2035.
Given that high energy costs remain one of Egypt’s main industry challenges, the planned solar park will provide low-cost electricity at $0.02 per kilowatt hour, while the wind farm will provide energy at $0.03 per kilowatt hour. In conjunction, the projects will provide electricity to one million consumers, while eliminating up to 1.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions per annum.
Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of the UAE’s AMEA Power – which holds shares in Abydos Solar Company – said the projects are part of the company’s efforts to expand its footprint globally, as well “lead the development of renewable energy across Africa, stating: “We are proud to reach this significant milestone and to be supporting Egypt in its energy transition journey and drive to accelerate sustainable development.”
Cheick-Oumar Sylla, IFC Regional Director for North Africa and Horn of Africa, reiterated that the projects “highlight the private sector’s essential role helping to deliver clean, affordable power, especially at a time of growing challenges from climate change and pressures on the environment.”
The IFC’s financing partners for the projects include the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.