Scatec Solar, a leading solar energy provider, is planning to invest $600m on solar projects over two years in Egypt, reported Trade Arabia.

The company has started recruiting people to work on the three projects in Benban and two in Zaafarana and has also been co-ordinating with local companies.

The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) is ready to sign the contract of sub-stations and wants to start next year. The Benban projects are also set to start in the first half of the next year.

In an interview with Daily News Egypt the Scatec Solar senior vice president for Business Development,Terje Osmundsen, said that his company’s investments would create job opportunities.

“We don’t bring workers from abroad. We find people locally, hire and train them so they can build the plant”, he explained, adding that the “construction of the big solar plants here requires about 20,000 to 30,000 people, if not more.  Over two years, these solar plants will generate 100,000 jobs directly or indirectly.”

Another benefit was reducing fuel imports, because for “every KW/hour of solar energy that can be produced, you actually replace the fuel that Egypt has to import in order produce electricity.” As for Benban, he said it was a “huge and fantastic area because it is linked to the infrastructure of the Aswan Dam – so it can combine hydro, wind and solar power.” He explained that “We are here not only to build the plants, but also to own and operate them for a long time – about 25 years.”

He also stated that “if Egypt moves according to its ambitious timeline, it can emerge as a world star in solar energy. … in the MENA region, I am optimistic that Egypt can become the leading hub on solar development, and gradually even manufacturing.” He added that “as Egypt moves towards reducing emissions, there is a possibility to get international climate finance.”