ACWA Power has agreed to build three solar photovoltaic power plants in Aswan Province, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

The company entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with the government to build the plants under the second round of the government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) program, according to ACWA’s press release.

They will be built in Benban, Aswan Province.

The Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Dr. Mohamed Shaker, hailed the agreement, stating, “the Egyptian government has taken another step toward sustainable and enduring energy through working towards a balanced energy mix.”

He further noted: “Energy projects are long-term by nature, and by selecting ACWA Power, we have partnered with a developer who is keen to invest in several energy infrastructure projects in Egypt. With the Benban projects, ACWA Power is coming on board as an investor, as well as a developer.”

The company expects to begin construction during the fourth quarter of 2017 and begin operations in 2018. Upon completion, the ACWA is projecting that the solar facilities will produce 165.5 MWp – enough electricity to power 80,000 houses.

Under the terms of the agreement, ACWA is responsible for funding, constructing, and operating the facilities. The project is estimated to cost $190 million.

ACWA predicts that the plants will cut carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 156,000 tons per year.

The Chief Investment Officer of ACWA Power, Rajit Nanda, noted that the power plants are “significant for being ACWA Power’s first investment in the country and we are confident that we will have many more opportunities to partner with the Ministry of Electricity in its pursuit of energy security and other strategic goals.”

In addition to the Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, the signing ceremony was attended by H.E. Dr. Sherif Ismail, Prime Minister of Egypt; H.E. Ahmed El Qattan, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia; Eng. Gamal Abd El Rehem, Chairman of the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC); and Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power.

ACWA Power is based in Saudi Arabia and specializes in power generation and desalination.