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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Electricity Ministry ups target for renewable energy development

Egypt plans to generate 42% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker tells Bloomberg. That represents an ambitious expansion of the target initially set out by the government, which mandated that 20% of Egypt’s power needs will be met by renewable resources by 2022 — and to 65% by 2050. The increase likely follows the interest international institutions have shown in the Benban solar park after the launch of Phase 2 of the feed-in tariff (FiT) program and investing USD 1.8 bn in the project. The full lineup of companies in Phase 2 will be announced in mid-January, Electricity Ministry sources tell Al Borsa.

It’s looking good for Benban solar companies: The committee reviewing financial and technical offers appears to be leaning towards accepting all comers, especially considering that the overwhelming majority of companies have reached financial close on their projects. Separately, the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) is looking for a EGP 1 bn revolving loan to help fund rooftop solar installations with a combined capacity of 500 KW, NREA sources tell Al Borsa, NREA sources tell Al Borsa. The authority has entered into talks with five banks for the loan, including Banque Misr, the National Bank of Egypt, and CIB.

In other news from the sector: Contracts for the interconnection of the Egyptian and Saudi electricity grids will be signed in March or April 2018, Shaker said, according to Bloomberg. The project will carry a total cost of USD 1.6 bn, of which Egypt will pay USD 600 mn, Shaker says. Construction will take two years and the link with Saudi Arabia should have a capacity of 3,000 MW. Egypt already has a 450 MW link with Jordan and a 200 MW one with Libya. The link will allow Egypt to export electricity in times of surplus and then import power during shortages.

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