The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved loans for 13 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in Egypt and will decide on support for a further three later in June.
On Wednesday, the bank said its board has given the green light to a USD-500-million (EUR 445.4m) framework to finance projects in Egypt developed under the country’s feed-in tariff (FiT) mechanism.
The 16 projects to get EBRD funds represent a combined solar capacity of 750 MW. All will be located in the proposed 1.8-GW Benban solar complex in Egypt's Aswan province. The list includes a portfolio of six 50-MW plants developed by Norwegian company Scatec Solar ASA (OSL:SSO), a 120-MW portfolio developed by Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power, a 100-MW portfolio of EREN Renewable Energy and Access Infra Africa, and projects involving ib vogt and EDF Energies Nouvelles.
The solar power plants are seen to offset 900,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year, once operational. They will also bring a short-term boost to the local economy, creating construction and operation and maintenance jobs. The bank noted that over 50% of the people in Aswan are below the poverty line.
Egypt's FiT programme for projects of up to 50 MW is aimed at delivering more than 4 GW of wind and solar power capacity.
“We have been working with the Egyptian authorities since 2014 to help them fulfil their ambitious goals in [renewable eneryg]. We are delighted now to be in a position to commit very significant financing to projects, which we expect to start construction before the end of 2017,” said Harry Boyd-Carpenter, Head of Power and Energy.