64MW solar project secured under round one of Egypt Feed-in Tariff

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Given the difficulties the country has faced with its FiT, this project constitutes a landmark in the development of renewable energy infrastructure in Egypt and the MENA region beyond. Source: Flickr: May Anais Vataghene

Egyptian renewable energy provider Infinity Solar and Germany’s ib vogt and Solizer have reached financial close on a 64.1MW solar PV plant under round one of Egypt’s Feed-in Tariff (FiT) programme.

Financing was obtained from German commercial bank Bayerische Landesbank for 85% of the debt, with the remaining 15% coming from the Arab African International Bank. The loan was secured through the German government.

The Infinity 50 solar park, as it is known, is based in Benban, Aswan, and was officially approved this week by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC).

Given the difficulties the country has faced with its FiT, this project constitutes a landmark in the development of renewable energy infrastructure in Egypt and the MENA region beyond. The project is part of the Benban solar development complex with a total capacity of up to 1.86GWp, which will be one of the largest solar generation facilities in the world when completed.

“We are very pleased to have secured this project and to have been one of the very few consortia able to successfully qualify for the landmark Egyptian round one programme,” said Anton Milner, managing director of ib vogt in a statement. “This is the culmination of many months of preparatory work in what has been a very complex project, representing a very significant investment for the company. It also demonstrates the company’s ability to manage and structure such an undertaking. We would like to thank all of our partners for their efforts in assisting the consortium to secure the qualification for the project, the PPA and to achieve financial close. We look forward to constructing the plant and helping to bring much needed sustainable electricity with all its associated benefits to the country in 2017.”

The project will be comprised of almost 200,000 PV modules mounted on a horizontal tracking system. Once operational, it is expected to produce more than 110,000MWh annually; providing enough clean electricity to power around 69,000 homes while displacing more than 1,293,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 25 years. Electricity will be sold via a 25-year PPA to the EETC.

ib vogt will assume construction, EPC and O&M responsibilities for the project, which will create more than 400 jobs in the region during this phase.  Construction in fact is already underway and the plant is expected to be operational by early Q4 2017.

The plant will contribute to the country’s renewable energy goal of 20% by 2020, while marking a milestone in the development of sustainable large-scale power generation for a region where growth in demand for electricity is at 6-7% per annum.

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