Italian-based Building Energy, a leader in renewable power, announced Monday it had signed an agreement worth $200 million to build two 50 MW photovoltaic plants in Egypt.

The project was awarded by the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) of the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy of Egypt.

Each plant in Benban, Upper Egypt, is expected to generate around 143 GWh per year, contributing to the reduction of over 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Construction of the project will start in summer 2016 and will last 12 months.

Under a 25-year power purchase agreement, the plants will be connected to the 220 kV high-voltage line linking Aswan to Cairo, meeting the energy needs of a total of 50,000 families. The project will create more than 1,000 jobs during construction and a further 70-80 long-term jobs during operation.

Building Energy has been present in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region since early 2014 with an office in Dubai, from which it manages and coordinates all the projects in the area.

“We are delighted to announce the kick-off of our first two projects in Egypt. The country is blessed with world-class solar and wind resources and has established an extremely well-managed programme under which it aims to produce at least 20 per cent of its total power from renewable sources by 2020,” said Cornelius Matthes, Building Energy’s managing director of Mena.

“This is why the Egyptian government has implemented a series of concrete steps to facilitate foreign investments, in order to meet the increasing energy needs and support the economic growth of the country.

“We are also glad that, through these projects, we will manage to positively impact the country, not only contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions, but also boost the local economy through the creation of over a thousand of new jobs. Other Mena countries will hopefully soon follow Egypt’s important leadership to deploy renewable energy on a large scale.”

Building Energy has teamed up with a local partner in Egypt, SolarShams, a renewable energy system integrator and local project developer.

Source: Trade Arabia.