ACWA Power, Saudi Arabia’s energy giant, has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the government of Egypt to finance, develop, construct, and operate the 200 MW Kom Ombo solar power project.
ACWA Power had secured this project through a tender issued in August 2018. The PPA was signed by Rajit Nanda, chief investment officer at ACWA Power, and Sabah Mashaly, chairman of the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC).
The solar power project is likely to be operational by the first quarter of 2021. The project is expected to cater to the daily needs of nearly 130,000 households and offset 280,000 tons of carbon per year.
Speaking about the agreement, minister of electricity and renewable energy, Mohamed Shaker said, “The signing of today’s project is a crucial building block that contributes to the Egyptian government’s vision – which aims to upscale sustainable energy security by moulding a balanced energy mix. We are keen to leverage renewable energy sources through transparent, competitive procurement, which will cater to the country’s current clean energy needs while simultaneously safeguarding our future.”
The construction and development of new solar projects in Egypt bolster the efforts of the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy to increase the overall capacity of renewable energy to 20% by the year 2020.
Speaking on similar lines, Paddy Padmanathan, CEO of ACWA Power, said, “The Egyptian government has long recognized renewable energy as a safe and secure source of power to reliably provide energy to its citizens while advancing their efforts in reducing carbon emissions. The Kon Ombo project that we are embarking upon today is a very strong testament to ACWA Power’s commitment to contribute to this mission.”
There’s no dearth of sunlight and wind power in Egypt, which makes it a prime location for renewable energy sources, and the government is aware of the fact and is taking all the necessary steps to meet the ever-surging energy demands. The country’s electricity ministry is planning to add a new capacity of 600 MW in the coming years.
Earlier this year, Mercom reported that the government of Egypt was in the process of finalizing regulations about the production and sale of electricity from new private renewable power projects directly to consumers. Egypt’s ministry of electricity has set up a committee to prepare the standards, regulations, and rules governing the production of electricity from solar and wind stations and selling them to consumers through independent power producers (IPP) with payment of electricity network usage fees. Through this, the consumers will have free access to electricity from any licensed company producing and selling energy.
Besides conventional power, Mercom recently wrote that Egypt is expected to achieve 20% renewable capacity in its energy mix by 2022, with the world’s largest solar park of 1.6 GW set to become operational in Benban.
Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).