Oct 24 2012

Qatari-Egyptian alliance to invest USD165m in solar energy

By Alaa El Taweel 24 October 2012
An alliance of Qatari and Egyptian investors, led by the Egyptian Awqaf Authority, has tendered an offer to build a power generation complex of solar cells in western Sinai, with investments up to USD 165 million, an executive at the Egyptian industry ministry told Zawya.

The authority will hold a 25% share in the project, said Ismail Al-Najdi, chief executive of the industry ministry's Industrial Development Authority (IDA).

Egypt produces more than 23,000 MW of electricity annually, while demand exceeds 25,000 MW at peak times, especially between July and August.

According to a report by the Egyptian ministry of electricity and energy, the country needs to raise capacity by 1,500 MW to 2,000 MW annually to meet demand, which is rising at the rate of 6% every year. Part of the plan to meet demand is the production of 100 MW of electricity through solar energy stations. The ministry is also looking to provide 20% of power supply through renewable energy by the year 2020.

Al-Najdi pointed out that the IDA has agreed to award the required licenses to a number of investors to build up 11 compounds for power generation from solar energy in Gulf of Suez, Red Sea and Central and Western Sinai.

The utilization of solar energy to produce power will contribute to curb the frequent blackouts that plagued the country last summer, said Wael Al-Nashar, chairman of Middle East Engineering and Telecommunications Company, which is specialized in solar energy technology. Al-Nashar expects that power productivity in Egypt will reach to approximately 25.9 GW by the end of 2012.

© Zawya 2012

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