In North Africa, tenders for Egypt’s 500MW of renewable solar and wind energy projects are due to open bids this month, The National reported on Thursday.
The government will open tenders for three clean power projects – two solar and one wind – as it tries to achieve its target of using renewable energy for 20% of its energy needs within a five-year period.
Egypt has to date awarded 1,800MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects that drew attention from interested companies.
The country has also put 1,200MW of wind energy projects up for tender, but they are off to a slower start.
The Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) announced the separate tenders for 250MW of wind, 200MW of PV and 50MW of CSP capacity, law firm Eversheds LLP stated.
The facilities, which will be developed on a Build, Own and Operate (BOO) basis, are planned for the West Nile Area.
EETC will sign power purchase agreements with the awarded tenders. NREA, on its part, will provide the land for the projects.
One investor involved in the first round of solar PV tenders said the first phase of the government’s feed-in tariff programme had yet to be concluded.
The investor told The National that, to date none of the 1,800MW PV projects awarded by the government had reached financial close.
Financial close occurs when all the project and financing agreements have been signed and all the contractual conditions have been met.
“The timing for these new tenders is premature because the serious companies are already involved and want to get across the finish line before they take a bigger chunk out of the market,” explained the investor.
He added that his company would not be interested until its existing projects have closed financially.
Qualifying for tenders
Eversheds, a British law firm and clean energy consultancy, stated that the government requires the firms participating in the projects to have relatively high levels of clean energy experience.
To qualify for the tenders, a company must have completed three projects, each with a minimum capacity of 50MW for the wind and PV tenders, and 30MW for CSP.
Only a handful of companies have such levels of experience, stated The National.
EETC and NREA are inviting both local and foreign developers to participate in the tenders.
Lukewarm response anticipated
Cornelius Matthes, managing director for the Middle East and North Africa region at Building Energy, an Italian firm, said:
“If the reports are true, I think it will be a relatively small group of top international developers, due to the high criteria the Egyptian government is requiring.”
Interested parties should submit pre-qualification documents for the wind tender by October 5, 2015. Bids as part of the PV and CSP auctions are expected by November 2 and November 16, 2015, respectively.