The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Proparco, a French financial institution, are financing the installation of two 50 MW solar projects in to be developed the Benban solar complex in the Aswan province of Egypt. The EBRD and Proparco will each provided $58 million ($116 million in total) for the construction and operation of the projects. These are the first two projects to be financed under the second round of Egypt’s ambitious feed-in tariff scheme and will be part of the planned 1.8 GW Benban solar complex in Aswan, stated an an EBRD release.
The projects will be constructed, operated and owned by two Egyptian subsidiaries of the French renewable energy company EREN Renewable Energy and Access Power, a Dubai-based company.
The two projects are the first under EBRD’s new $500 million framework for renewable energy in Egypt, which is expected to finance a total of 16 projects delivering 750 MW of capacity, and under Proparco’s dedicated portfolio for solar projects in Egypt.
“We are very pleased to sign the first projects today, just two months after the EBRD Board of Directors approved our Egypt Renewable Energy Framework. These are truly groundbreaking projects, the first to reach this milestone in Egypt’s ambitious scheme to exploit its outstanding renewable resources,” said Janet Heckman, EBRD Managing Director of the Southern and Eastern and Mediterranean (SEMED) region.
“We are proud to have worked tirelessly over the past two years with the EBRD, EREN, Access Power and the Egyptian authorities to establish the first building blocks of the Benban solar complex. As the first two projects being fully financed in round two of the FiT program, these are setting a path for other investments to follow,” said Alice Lucas, Senior Investment Officer for Proparco’s Energy and Infrastructure Division.
More than 50 percent of the population in the Aswan region live below the poverty line. These projects in Benban are expected to bring a significant short-term boost to the economy through construction activities. They will also provide benefits through the transfer of skills and the creation of long-term jobs in the operation and maintenance segment of the solar power projects.
Image credit: EREN Group