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Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Plans To Invest $12bn In Egypt For Solar And Wind Projects

Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power intends to invest $12 billion in the Egyptian market over the course of the next five years. Already 136 international and Egyptian companies have been granted the permission to implement solar or wind power energy production plants. Plans include establishing solar and wind power plants with a capacity of 4,200MW from $7.5 billion in investments, as well as generating 20 percent of electricity from new and renewable sources by 2020.

The company intends to implement a series of projects in Egypt, which include the 2,250MW capacity Dayrout power plant and three 150MW-capacity solar and wind plants. The Ministry of Electricity is reviewing final contracts with ACWA to build the Dayrout electricity station in Beheira after the company qualified for a tender offered by the ministry. The contract is expected to be completed this year. The 70-acre power plant will be 25 percent funded by Hassan Allam Construction while the equipment will be supplied and installed by General Electric (GE) and Sepco.

The Dayrout project is the first Build-Operate-Own project of its kind in Egypt and of the four agreements related to the project, 90 percent of the agreed-upon items have been completed. ACWA and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) will sign agreements to purchase the energy produced from the project.

ACWA has also formed agreements with the Chinese Silk Road Fund, the Saudi Investment Fund and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for the financing of the project. Negotiations remain under way with several international institutions, which will be investing a further estimated $80 million in solar power projects and $200 million in wind farms.

The company intends to activate the memoranda of understanding (MOU) that were signed at the Economic Development Conference, held in Sharm El Sheikh last March. The aim is to establish a power plant fuelled by coal while additional competitive tenders are to establish renewable energy plants in the western Nile area. These will include a power plant in Safaga, which will operate on clean coal with a capacity of 2000MW, with an increased potential of up to 4000MW.

Hassan Amin, Regional Manager of ACWA Power said the legislation and regulations governing investment in Egypt have helped the company invest in the field of electricity generation through a contract to construct conventional, coal, new and renewable energy stations. According to Minister of energy and electricity, Ahmed Imam, the government guarantees had been gained for purchasing power from the projects in advance of a new Electricity Law.

The Ministry of Finance’s goal is to encourage investment in renewable energy and speed up the announcement of the second phase of the project, in line with the feed-in tariff. ACWA Power completed the establishment of a joint Egyptian company, which will implement its projects within the Egyptian market. In addition, it will continue to promote development by providing efficient, reliable and affordable energy, in the interest of Egyptian society as a whole.

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