World Bank approves $660m for 500MW of solar in Egypt

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has approved investments worth $660m for a total 500MW of solar projects to be located on Benban solar complex in Egypt.

The funds will be used to finance 13 large-scale PV projects being developed from both public and private companies.

The projects are part of the 2GW national goal through Egypt’s landmark solar Feed-in Tariff (FiT) programme, aiming to harvest the country’s rich solar potential and develop the largest solar photovoltaic generation park in the world.

Egypt wants to source 20% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. The 2GW goal will be achieved through 40 individual solar projects of approximately 50MW each.

Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa said: "This landmark investment demonstrates that when you have the right reform policies and a government willing to allow greater involvement by the private sector, you can attract investors in every sector, including infrastructure."

He added: "Investments like these are the nucleus for economic growth, which is needed in Egypt."

Egypt’s solar FiT programme will include projects financed by several development institutions like the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Proparco and is expected to be one of the largest foreign direct investments in years.

Last June the EBRD approved a $500m package for 13 PV projects. Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD’s head of power and energy, said he expected construction to start construction before the end of this year.

Image: The Pyramids of Giza (Kallerna/CC3.0)

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