Scatec Solar (SSO) has begun engineering and procurement activities in Benban and Zafarana, two solar sites in Egypt. Topography and Geotechnical studies have already been completed and work has commenced on the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. Weather stations are being installed at the two sites to measure solar irradiation, heat, dust, sand and other air quality conditions that will impact the future efficiency of the solar projects.
The company has signed agreements to participate in five projects totaling 250 MW under Egypt’s new Feed-in Tariff (FiT) programme for solar PV. Scatec will be the lead developer in one project, while in four others it will participate as a strategic investor, EPC and O&M provider. The company has also initiated the process to raise project finance from banks, though fund commitments rest on the authorities issuing bankable contractual documents and required permits.
“Our international experience has taught us the importance of detailed pre-planning for execution of projects so that we can quickly deliver much-needed electricity, once the authorities have issued all the agreements and permits” said Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar. “The determination with which the Government is pursuing solar energy matches the fundamentals of the economy that require more electricity to promote economic growth, provide clean energy and create more jobs.”
Dr. Mohamed El Sobki, Chairman of Egypt's New and Renewable Energy Authority (NERA), said that the Egyptian government will adopt new policies and issue the required legislation to attract international participation and investment.
Egypt decided to diversify its energy mix in order to meet the rapidly rising demand for electricity, inviting foreign solar energy developers to construct 2.3 GW utility-scale solar plants in the next two years. Scatec will provide training and skills to the local population during the construction of the plants and for the subsequent operation and maintenance of the projects, generating hundreds of jobs. It will also establish a regional headquarter located in Cairo’s Nile City Tower.
Egypt is intending to supply 20 percent of installed capacity from renewable energy by 2022. Over the next seven years, the foreign investments required to build the planned 6 GW of solar will be about $9 billion to $10 billion.
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