Acwa Power reaches financial close for three solar PV projects in Egypt

Read full article in African Review. 

ACWA Power has reached financial close of the three solar PV projects worth US$190mn under Round 2 of Egypt Feed-in-Tariff program II, with an aggregate capacity of 165.5MWp

The projects, located in the Aswan Province at Benban, will have a respective capacity to generate 67.5 MWp, 70 MWp and 28 MWp as individual project, said the company.

The construction will commence in Q1 2018. After starting operations in Q4 2018, the new installed capacity is expected to power 80,000 houses and provide a saving of 156,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

About 75 per cent of the total project cost is financed through a non-recourse project debt from European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The remaining 25 per cent of the projects cost is financed with equity capital provided by the sponsors.

The project comes in line with the Egyptian government’s target to obtain 20 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2022. The feed-in tariff programme aims to secure an initial generation of 2,000MW of solar capacity and 2,000MW of wind capacity.

Commenting on the financial close of the projects, Rajit Nanda, chief investment officer of ACWA Power, said, “ACWA Power identified Egypt as an investment destination worthy of pursuit in 2009 and subsequently established a local company ACWA Power Egypt in 2015. The successful financial close of these projects is a harbinger of change in the deployment of power generation capacity, and reinforces our belief in the potential that exists in the country.”

The company is also pursuing a number of other opportunities to consolidate its presence in the Egyptian Market including Dairut 2250MW CCGT project and a pipeline of more than 500MW wind projects, 1GW of PV projects and 100MW of CSP projects.