ACWA Power has reached financial close of the three solar PV projects under Round 2 of Egypt Feed-in-Tariff program II, with an aggregate capacity of 165.5MWp. The total projects cost is US$ 190 million of which 75% financed through a non-recourse project debt from EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) the latter tranch with Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency cover and the balance 25% of the projects cost financed with equity capital provided by the Sponsors.
The projects, which are located in the Aswan Province at Benban, will have a respective capacity to generate 67.5 MWp, 70 MWp and 28 MWp as individual project. The construction of the all projects will commence in Q1 2018. Once the projects start operations in Q4 2018, the new installed capacity will power 80,000 houses and provides a saving of 156,000 tons of CO2 a year.
The Government of Egypt and the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy (MoERE) have set a target of obtaining 20% of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2022. The feed-in tariff programme aims to secure an initial generation of 2,000 MW of solar capacity and 2,000 MW of wind capacity.
Commenting on the financial close of the projects, Paddy Padmanathan, President & CEO of ACWA Power said: “We are very excited that our first projects in Egypt have not only achieved financial close but are three photovoltaic power plants suporting the Egyptian Government in its pursuit of secureing 20% of renewable energy in the power generation mix by year 2022.”
Rajit Nanda, Chief Investment Officer of ACWA Power added: “Achieving financial close for these projects is a significant milestone – not just for these projects, but as our first projects they establish the foundation for many more opportunities that ACWA Power is pursuing with the Ministry of Electricity. ACWA Power identified Egypt as an investment destination worthy of pursuit in 2009 and subsequently established a local company ACWA Power Egypt in 2015. The successful financial close of these projects is a harbinger of change in the deployment of power generation capacity, and reinforces our belief in the potential that exists in the country."
ACWA Power is partnering with the Chinese group Chint and the Egyptian groups Tawakol and Hassan Allam Holding, two of the most reputable local companies in Egypt on the project, highlighting the company’s commitment and belief in the Egyptian Market.
ACWA Power is also pursuing a number of other opportunities to consolidate its presence and support the Egyptian Market, notably Dairut 2250MW CCGT project and a pipeline of more than 500MW wind projects, 1GW of PV projects and 100MW of CSP projects.