Back to the complete issue
Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Is Egypt reviving a zombie solar panels factory project?

Is Egypt reviving a USD 2 bn zombie solar panel manufacturing project? A Chinese partner will reportedly be contracted in 1H2020 to build two facilities to produce solar panels with a combined annual capacity of 5 GW in Aswan and Zaafarana, government sources told the press. The sources made no mention of the expected investment cost and did not name the Chinese contractor, noting only that the project will be financed through Chinese banks.

This is likely the USD 2 bn facility which made headlines in 2018: The sources said that the project was previously touted as being capable of producing 5 GW-worth of panels a year, but further studies showed it could produce less. This hints that the project referred to here is the USD 2 bn integrated solar panel factory, for which the military production minister was planning in 2018 to award contracts to China’s Golden Concord Group (GCL). Talks with the Chinese side broke down later this year. It remains unclear whether GCL came back to the negotiating table or if the government found another prospective Chinese partner.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.