Abu Dhabi-based International Holding Company (IHC) announced on Thursday that it is building a solar-powered irrigation system to optimise energy and water resources and increase production of fruit and vegetables for export.
IHC’s subsidiary, Al Hashemeya Company for Land Reclamation and Cultivation, has invested 1.5 million UAE dirhams ($408,384) in constructing the pilot project, the ADX-listed company said in a press statement.
The project, which comprises of six wells spread over 500 acres, pumps water onto 10,000 acres (4,050 hectares) of farmland in the Wadi Al-Natroun region of northern Egypt.
IHC said it is aiming to operate more than 80 wells over the next five years with a 20-million-dirham ($5.5 million) investment which will ensure that 75 percent of the total power needed is coming from solar energy.
Mamoon Othman, Chief Executive Officer of IHC Food, said the project in Egypt is demonstrating what can be achieved across the country and the wider region to rapidly advance the agriculture sector, which is key to increasing exports.
The statement noted that a generation capacity 17 megawatts would provide 75 percent of the farm’s total energy needs at less than half the cost of electricity from the national grid.
It said solar power is expected to be available for 5 to 6 hours in the winter season and between 8 and 10 hours in the summer.
(Writing by Marwa Abo Almajd; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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