Egypt’s largest independent solar power project, the 200-megawatt (MW) Kom Ombo photovoltaic (PV) power plant, has received a $114 million financing package from a group of international development financial institutions and banks on the heels of the signing the final project agreements in early April. 

The project will be located less than 20 kilometres from Africa’s biggest solar park, the 1.8-gigawatt Benban complex.  

The package comprises loans of up to $36 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); $18 million from the OPEC Fund for International Development (The OPEC Fund); $17.8 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB); $23.8 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF)  and $18 million from Arab Bank, a press statement from the OPEC Fund said.  

This is in addition to equity bridge loans of up to $14 million from EBRD and $33.5 million from Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), the statement issued on Thursday said. 

Egypt’s first solar photovoltaic (PV) tender was won by Saudi power and water developer ACWA Power, which submitted the lowest tariff for the project. 

EBRD President Odile Renaud Basso said the project marked the EBRD’s first co-financing project with the AfDB and the OPEC Fund in Egypt with the London-headquartered bank looking forward to future joint investment opportunities across Africa. 

OPEC Fund Director-General Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said Kom Ombo, which is the Fund’s third project with ACWA Power, exemplifies great cooperation between government, development finance and private-sector actors. 

AfDB Vice President of Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Kevin Kariuki added that the project contributes directly to the realisation of Egypt's ambitious renewable energy targets.  

Paddy Padmanathan, President and Chief Executive Officer of ACWA Power, said: “Kom Ombo PV is the fourth project in ACWA Power’s Egyptian portfolio and the conclusion of this financing demonstrates the confidence in the Egyptian government’s ambitious renewable energy plans, being implemented through private-sector participation.” 

Yannick Glemarec, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, said: “$154.7 million in GCF resources, including 23.8 million for the Kom Ombo plant, catalyses over $850 million in co-financing and unleashes the first wave of private renewable energy projects in Egypt. The GCF looks forward to continuing to support the government of Egypt in delivering on its ambitious climate targets through innovative partnerships with the private sector.” 

The Egyptian government has set a target to generate 42 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035. 

(Writing by SA Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon) 


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