Combined cycle gas power plant
Through the  $200 million loan, Egypt plans to build a combined cycle gas-fired power plant. Pic credit: atcopower.com

In North Africa, Egypt has secured a $200 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the construction of a new 1.8GW combined cycle gas-fired power plant. The plant will be located in Damanhour, north west of Cairo.

The funds will be added to the $1.3 billion total project cost, supported by other large finance institutions including the European Investment Bank, the Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development as well as the African Development Bank, the North Africa Post reported.

EBRD funding supports diversity of energy sources

EBRD managing director Hildegard Gacek, highlighted the importance of supporting Egypt in diversifying its energy mix.

He said: “Investing in electric power is crucial in Egypt. Through this investment, we’re offering full support to diversify the sources of energy generation, energy efficiency and clean energy.”

The construction of the power plant will help Egypt reduce its power shortages by increasing both efficiency and available generating capacity.

According to the North Africa Post, the plant will use the most advanced modern technology, and once in operation will be the most energy and water-efficient plant in Egypt, reducing the energy generation sector’s carbon footprint by 1.5 million TCO2 emissions each year.

Gacek added that overcoming the chronic supply shortages is crucial for sustainable economic growth and the living conditions of the population.

Restructuring the energy sector

EBRD Director for Power & Energy Utilities, Nandita Parshad said “We are delighted to partner with Egypt to support the modernisation of their generating fleet and to deepen our cooperation as they reshape the sector to meet Egypt’s energy needs.”

The Egyptian minister of International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, commented: “The project will support Egypt to face the increasing power demand from the industrial, domestic and agriculture sectors. In addition it will reduce the burden on the main electricity grid.”

North Africa Post reported that the EBRD has so far invested over 1 billion euros ($107 billion) in Egypt through 27 projects since the start of its activities in the country at the end of 2012.