India's Sterling and Wilson takes over from Mahindra in Egypt's Kom Ombo solar plant construction

The contract for solar power plant is due to be signed before the end of this month

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Workers set up the photovoltaic solar panels at the Benban plant in Aswan, Egypt, November 17, 2019.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Workers set up the photovoltaic solar panels at the Benban plant in Aswan, Egypt, November 17, 2019.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The Saudi company, ACWA Power, has agreed with India’s Sterling and Wilson that the latter will take over the construction work of the 200 MW Kom Ombo solar plant instead of Mahindra.

ACWA Power had originally agreed with Mahindra on the project, but the latter pulled out due its fear of working outside India as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues.

Informed sources have told Daily News Egypt that ACWA Power was in negotiations with Sterling and Wilson and two Chinese companies, but the Indian company was the preferred contractor.

It has already worked with ACWA Power to implement projects in Morocco, with a capacity of 170 MW.

The contract for Kom Ombo solar power plant is due to be signed before the end of this month.

Diaa El-Din Salah, Regional Director in Egypt and North Africa at Sterling and Wilson, told Daily News Egypt that negotiations are nearing completion on ACWA Power’s Kom Ombo solar plant. This also covers the 220 kV transformer station to connect the plant to the national grid.

ACWA Power will sell the plant’s output at 2.48 piasters per kw/h over the project’s lifespan. This is the lowest price offered by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EEHC) since the announcement of the renewable energy development plan, which began in 2014.

The station is being implemented using “two-sided” technology, through which solar cells are manufactured to allow the absorption of light on both sides. This will achieve greater efficiency and improve the performance of the cells in the winter season.

The station contributes to providing the electrical energy required to meet the needs of 130,000 housing units, and reduce carbon emissions by 280,000 tonnes annually.

The contract to build and develop solar photovoltaic power stations is part of the government’s plan to bring the renewable energy contribution to Egypt’s energy mix to 20% by 2022.

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