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ACWA Power seals deal to build Egypt’s 200-MW Kom Ombo PV plant

Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power has finalised the project agreements for Egypt’s 200-MW Kom Ombo solar PV plant.

The company signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), a network connection contract and a usufruct agreement with Egyptian Electricity Transmission Co. (EETC) and Egypt’s The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA).

Egypt has up to 90 GW of untapped renewable resources, ACWA Power said in a statement, particularly wind and solar energy.

“In line with Egypt’s Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy, our aim is to produce 42% of Egypt’s electricity using renewable sources by 2035. Currently necessary studies are being conducted to increase this percentage, stressing on maximising the utilisation of renewable energy in many areas, including water desalination and green hydrogen production,” said Mohamed Shaker El Markabi, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy.

The Kom Ombo PV project is scheduled to achieve financial closure in the third quarter of 2021.

The project has received a $40mn senior debt financing and a $14mn equity bridge loan from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as a $27.2mn loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance construction, development and design.

“The signing of the final project agreements for Kom Ombo PV reflects our long-standing relationship with the EETC and the NREA, as well as our shared commitment to advancing the country’s renewable energy landscape and decarbonisation efforts,” said Paddy Padmanathan, president & CEO of ACWA Power.

The government guarantee for the project was signed in January 2021 between ACWA Power and Mohamed Maait, Egypt’s Minister of Finance.

Kom Ombo PV is part of ACWA Power’s energy portfolio in Egypt, which currently includes three solar PV projects located in Aswan Province (Benban 1, Benban 2 and Benban 3) with an aggregate capacity of 120 MW, as well as the 2,250-MW Dairut-Luxor CCGT IPP in the Luxor Governorate.

Construction of the plant is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2021 and upon completion, Kom Ombo PV will cater to the power needs of 130,000 households and offset 336,000 tonnes per year (tpy) of carbon dioxide.

Kom Ombo PV will be one of the largest privately developed utility-scale solar plants in Egypt and will support the country in increasing its renewable energy capacity in line with the national targets to generate 22% of Egypt’s power from renewables by 2022 and 42% by 2035.