ACWA Power reaches financial close for 200MW Kom Omba solar project in Egypt

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The Kom Ombo solar project will have a capacity of 200MW. Image: OPEC Fund for International Development

Saudi Arabian power company ACWA Power has reached financial close for its 200MW Kom Omba solar project in southern Egypt.

ACWA Power aims to begin commercial operations of the project in January 2024, and the news is a positive development for the company, which has spent years trying to finalise funding for the project.

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The Egyptian government first green-lit the project in October 2018, signing a power purchase agreement with ACWA Power for electricity generated by the project, and the company has since worked to raise US$182 million in funding to finance the project’s construction.

The company first raised US$123 million in funding in April this year from a number of institutions, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the OPEC Fund for International Development and the African Development Bank, making the facility an international project. The project will also be funded by a series of loans, including US$45 million provided by the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation.

“We are thrilled to announce the successful financial close of the monumental Kom Ombo solar project in Egypt,” said ACWA Power CEO Marco Arcelli. “Our commitment to renewable energy solutions has brought us to this momentous juncture.”

“We are poised to turn our vision into reality. I am thankful for the great support from all the financing institutions involved,” added Arcelli. “Together, we demonstrate our dedication to driving positive environmental impact and reinforce our joint contribution to Egypt’s energy independence goals.”

The majority of Egypt’s electricity comes from gas and oil, but has made significant investments in its solar sector in recent years, headlined by the 1.8GW Benban solar project, which has been in operation since 2019. The government plans to meet 42% of its electricity demand with renewable sources by 2035, and 60% by 2040, and the investment of foreign companies into new utility-scale projects could be an integral part of this transition.

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