In Egypt, European solar power producer Scatec Solar and partners, announced the financial close for six solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the Benban solar park in Aswan in Upper Egypt.
Totalling 400MW at an estimated cost of $450 million, the six plants will offset around 350,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, supporting Egypt’s emission reduction targets under the Paris Climate Agreement.
Once completed, Benban will be the largest solar installation in the world with a planned total capacity of 1.8GW.
Solar project finance
The European independent power producer (IPP) explained that a consortium of international Development Finance Institutions is providing a non-recourse project finance of $335 million, which accounts for 75% of the capex.
The consortium consists of EBRD, the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Dutch development bank, FMO, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).
According to the solar power producer, this is the consortium’s first joint projects in Egypt’s renewable energy sector.
“With this programme, the government of Egypt is making important steps towards accessing clean and low-cost electricity to drive development and economic prosperity,” says Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar.
Low carbon economy
EBRD’s head of power and energy utilities, Harry Boyd-Carpenter commented: ”We are delighted to support the largest solar portfolio in Egypt’s feed-in-tariff scheme […].” Read more…
The European solar producer said in a statement that the Green Climate Fund’s contribution of $48 million is the highest it has disbursed to a single recipient and the first under its April 2017 co-operation agreement with EBRD.
“This is a big step forward. It shows the potential for public and private climate finance to drive the low emission energy transition in support of Egypt’s climate goals,” says Ayaan Adam, private sector facility director at GCF.
The 25% equity will be provided by the three sponsors of the projects, Scatec Solar, Norfund and Africa50, the Infrastructure Fund for Africa, the IPP said.
Featured image: Stock