These plants are the first two projects to be financed under Egypt’s ambitious feed-in tariff scheme for renewable and will be part of the planned 1.8 GW Benban solar complex in Aswan province, in the southern area of Upper Egypt.
More than 50 per cent of the population in the Aswan region live below the poverty line. The EBRD’s and Proparco’s solar projects in Benban will bring a significant short-term boost to the economy through the construction activities. They will also provide benefits through the transfer of skills and the creation of long-term jobs in the operation and maintenance of the power plants.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Janet Heckman, EBRD director for Southern, Eastern & Mediterranean (SEMED) region, said: “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”.
For his part, Harry-Boyd Carpenter, EBRD director of Power & Energy said: “Projects such as these depend on partnership. We are privileged to be working with EREN and Access Power, who bring deep expertise and sustained commitment to renewable energy and Proparco, with whom we have a very strong partnership supporting renewable energy in Jordan, which we are proud to extend to Egypt”.
For Proparco Director General Gregory Clemente, “these investments mark a new milestone for Proparco, already involved in the financing of the largest solar photovoltaic power plants in Central America and West Africa”.
Between 2007 and 2016 the EBRD invested more than €3.5 billion directly in renewable energy, supporting 104 projects in 23 countries, and funding more than 5.3 GW of capacity
Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been receiving funding since 2012. To date the Bank has invested €2.6 billion in 49 projects in the country.
The EBRD’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services and support for transport services. The Bank has also provided technical assistance support to more than 500 small and medium-sized local enterprises.