Egyptian Minister of Investment, Dalia Khorshid, witnessed the signing of a loan with BNP Paribas worth $650m for the development of two power stations in Assuit and west Damietta, Al Mal News reported.

The long-term loan was funded by an European banking alliance, led by France’s BNP Paribas, with the guarantee of the Egyptian Ministry of Finance, in addition to financial insurance from Italian firm SACE.

The project comes under the second phase of Egypt’s power emergency plan  that aims to transfer the stations to adopt a combined-cycle technology. The use of turbine exhaust in place of gas and other fuels will boost the facilities’ power generation capacity from 1500MW to 2250MW. Egypt appointed an US-Egyptian consortium to execute the project. GE and Orascom Constructed were jointly awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) deal, and are expected to take 3 years to complete the project.

Egypt deployed its power emergency plan in 2015 with the appointment of Khorshid to manage the country’s investment portfolio. The initiative aspires to attract necessary funding for Egypt’s power development in order to cover domestic demand.