The Egyptian government signed 13 agreements with a banking consortium led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to fund the construction of 13 solar-power plants with a total capacity of 590 megawatts (MW), Egypt Oil & Gas reports.
While the loan package is worth $653 million, the total cost for the plants is expected to reach $823 million, according to Al Mal News.
The project–called the Nubian Suns Feed-in-Tariff Financing Program–will provide electricity to 300,000 people, according to the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr.
IFC officials noted the importance of Egypt’s economic reforms in its decision to support the projects.
“Reforms carried out by the Egyptian government in the energy sector opened the door for the private sector investments. As for the solar energy project, such reforms and our innovative financial instruments helped attract several investors and financers who [will] work in the state for the first time, besides providing Egyptians with job opportunities and clean and safe energy,” the President of the IFC, Dimitris Tsitsiragos, said.
The solar-power plants will be built in Benban, Aswan. Upon completion, the solar park at Benban is projected to be the largest in the world, Al Mal News reports.
The financing consortium consists of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Arab Bank Bahrain, the CDC Group, the Europe Arab Bank, Finance in Motion, Finnfund, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), and the Development Bank of Austria.
The agreements were signed by Tsitsiragos, Nasr, and the Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker.