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.