Komo Ombo a 200Mw solar project in Egypt has secured a US$123m financial package signalling that the project may yet move ahead. This was announced by ACWA Power the developer of the project
The Kom Ombo plant will be located less than 20 kilometres from Africa’s biggest solar park, the 1,465 MW Benban complex—another ACWA Power development—and is expected to be commercially operational in January 2024. Once fully functional, the new utility-scale plant will serve 130,000 households.
While the financing documentation was originally signed in April 2021 with the EBRD, the OPEC Fund, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), African Development Bank (AfDB) and Arab Bank, the dynamics in global supply chains due to Covid19 altered the dynamics for the development of solar plants. This resulted in the extension for Kom Ombo’s project execution.
Reported in September 2020
Kom Ombo solar PV plant developer, Acwa Power, is set to receive US$ 54M worth of financial support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The funds, which will be approved by the end of this month, will be used for the development of the 200 MWp clean energy project in Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt.
The UK based international financial institution said on a Project Summary Document (PSD) that the funding will be provided in the form of a “senior debt” of up to US$ 40M, co-financed with other banks, and a “bridge loan” of up to US$ 14M.
The overall cost of the project is estimated at US$ 155.4M.
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Expectations for the project
Fitted with two-sided solar panels that are capable of capturing the sun’s rays on both sides of the module, the Kom Ombo solar PV power plant project is expected to finish construction in the first quarter of next year.
According to Acwa Power, the photovoltaic (PV) park is expected to generate enough power to meet the annual consumption of about 130,000 homes and do away with 280,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year once operational.
Its construction will be facilitated by a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with the government of the North African country through the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC). According to the agreement power from the plant will be sold at US$ 0.0248 per kWh. The Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mr. Mohamed Shaker touted this as the lowest tariff contracted for solar energy in the country.
Boost to private sector participation in Egypt’s power sector
The project will be one of the largest privately developed utility-scale solar plants, and it will further promote private sector participation in Egypt’s power sector, whilst increasing the share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix, in line with the nationally declared targets.
Reported in March 2021
AfDB approves US$ 27.2M for solar power plant at Kom Ombo, Egypt
The African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Board of directors have approved US$ 27.2M in loan financing for the design, construction, and operation of a 200MW photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant at Kom Ombo, approximately 800km south of Cairo in the Upper region of Egypt.
Owned by ACWA Power, a leading Saudi Arabian developer, investor, co-owner, and operator of a portfolio of power generation, renewable energy, and desalinated water production plants worldwide, the project’s total cost is estimated at US$ 156.4M.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Arab Bank, and the OPEC Fund for International Development will also contribute funding in addition to the AfDB’s financing that is structured as a senior loan.
Expectations for the project
The project in question is expected to lower the electricity costs for businesses and residences, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating construction and other jobs.
Kevin Kariuki, the AfDB’s vice president for power, energy, climate, and green growth said that the multilateral development finance institution is delighted to support the 200MW photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant at Kom Ombo “that will deliver one of the lowest generation tariffs on the continent,” adding that “the project supports the North Africa Country’s energy transition and contributes towards the achievement of its targeted 20% share of renewables by 2022.”
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The project is also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7 million tonnes over a 25-year period.
Reported April 2021
Kom Ombo Solar power plant construction in Egypt to begin in Q3 2021
ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation and desalinated water plants has announced that the construction of the Kom Ombo Solar power plant will officially begin in the third quarter of the year 2021.
The announcement was made after the finalization of the virtual signing of a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Network Connection Contract, and Usufruct Agreement with senior Egyptian government officials and representatives from the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA), and ACWA Power.
According to ACWA, the financial closure of the project is scheduled for the third quarter of 2021, following the obtainment of a US$ 40M senior debt financing and a US$ 14M equity bridge loan from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in addition to a US$ 27.2M loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance the construction, development, and design of the 200 MW solar PV project.
Aim to produce 42% of Egypt’s electricity using renewable sources by 2035
Speaking after the agreements signing ceremony, Dr. Mohamed Shaker El Markabi, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy explained that the North African country is home to a wide range of untapped renewable resources particularly, wind and solar energy adding that the electrical capacities that can be generated from renewable sources can reach up to nearly 90 GW.
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“Our aim, in line with this country’s Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy, is to produce 42% of electricity using renewable sources by 2035. As I speak the necessary studies are being conducted to increase this percentage, stressing on maximizing the utilization of renewable energy in many areas, including water desalination and green hydrogen production.”
Financing agreement signed for Kom Ombo Solar power plant in Egypt
On 22nd April 2021, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and the Arab Bank signed a US$ 114 M financing package with ACWA Power for the construction of the largest private solar plant in Egypt, Kom Ombo Solar power plant.
The package comprises loans of up to US$ 36M from the EBRD, US$ 18M from the OPEC Fund, US$ 17.8M from the AfDB, US$ 23.8M from the GCF, and US$ 18M from the Arab Bank.
This is in addition to equity bridge loans of up to US$ 14M from EBRD and US$ 33.5M from Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP).
This comes barely two weeks following the finalization of the virtual signing of a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Network Connection Contract, and Usufruct Agreement by ACWA Power with senior Egyptian government officials and representatives from the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), and the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA).
Expectation for the project
The development of the Kom Ombo solar plant will add 200 MW of energy capacity, increasing the share of renewable energy in the North African country’s energy mix and further promoting private-sector participation in the Egyptian power sector.
The new power plant will be located less than 20 km from Africa’s biggest solar park, the 1.8 GW Benban complex.
Once operational, the new utility-scale plant will serve approximately 130,000 households and contribute to the Egyptian government’s target to generate 42 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035.
According to Dr. Mohamed Shaker El Markabi, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, the North African country is home to a wide range of untapped renewable resources particularly, wind and solar energy that can generate up to nearly 90 GW.
Reported in May 2021
Supplier of solar inverters chosen for Kom Ombo solar project
Sungrow Power Supply Co., Ltd (“Sungrow”), a leader in the research and development of solar inverters, has been chosen by Acwa Power, a top tier global power developer, to supply inverters and medium voltage station for the Kom Ombo solar project that is being developed in Egypt.
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According to the Chinese company (Sungrow) their inverters, particularly the SG250HX-IN-20 inverter and their MVS6650-LV turnkey medium voltage stations can withstand complex environments such as extreme temperatures, dry and dusty conditions, which are exact characteristics of the Kom Ombo solar project, thanks to their IP66 and C5 protection rating and intelligent forced air-cooling technology. The inverters are also compatible with two-sided solar panels and solar trackers installed at the site.
Sungrow will work closely with Sterling and Wilson Pvt. Ltd., a multinational company engaged in energy services, engineering, construction, and manufacturing that has been awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the Kom Ombo solar plant, which will feed 200 MWp into the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) grid.
Commercial operation for the Kom Ombo solar plant set for Q3 2022
According to the Saudi Arabian power producer (Acwa Power), the Kom Ombo solar power plant will start its commercial operations by the third quarter of next year.
The plant will supply approximately 650 GWh per year to 130,000 Egyptian households or it’s thereabouts at the least, and contribute to the Egyptian government’s target to generate 42 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035.
The Kom Ombo solar power plant will also save the North African country’s emission of nearly 336,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum.