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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

30 local and international banks agree to fund FiT phase two

FiT phase two is funded: 30 local and international banks have reportedly committed up to USD 3 bn in funding to phase two of the feed-in tariff (FiT) program, according to Al Borsa. State officials said that funding institutions and investors are expressing renewed interest in the FiT’s phase two after clause making Paris the seat of appealing international arbitration rulings in Cairo were instituted. Investors will be required to complete new feasibility studies to tap funding provided by institutions including African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Export-Import Bank of China, KfW, BNP Paribas, and HSBC. Energy companies with signed contracts already in negotiations with lenders and expected to present their funding agreements by April.

In the meantime (and stripped of the requisite vitriol): Some solar companies are demanding their industry get the same tax and customs breaks that Siemens is receiving for its work on the three combined-cycle power plants, reports Al Mal. These incentives should have been granted to smaller local companies to stimulate the local industry, said Cairo Solar chairman Hisham Tawfik, who has come out as the most vocal detractor of the FiT program since backing out. Siemens officials tell the newspaper that the tax and customs breaks are part of the contract. They added that Siemens has given Egypt discounted prices and that these benefits will be extended to companies subcontracted by Siemens.

But it’s not all bad news for FiT, the Electricity Ministry will not chase the companies to pay 30% more on their cost-sharing agreements, Al Borsa reports. It will, however, not change the tariff. Rumors have swirled until now that the state would look to reprice after the float of the EGP the 30% of FiT infrastructure companies are required to pay.

In related news: Planning Minister Ashraf Al Araby confirmed that the government has set up two committees to look into reimbursing contractors and suppliers that delivered goods and services to the government using prices that were set prior to the EGP float. The committees are set to reach a resolution in January, Al Shorouk says.

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