The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is reportedly considering lending $54 million to Saudi energy company ACWA for a 200 MW solar power plant it is building in the town Kom Ombo, in the Aswan governorate of southern Egypt. The international financial institution said the lending may consist of senior debt financing of up to $40 million co-financed with other parties and an equity bridge loan of up to $14 million.
The 200 MW plant will be located in a vacant arid land 60 km north of Aswan city, adjacent to a 26 MW PV plant developed by the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) and also approximately 17 km north of the 1.8 GW Benban solar complex, where ACWA Power has already developed 120 MW of solar.
The solar park is expected to generate enough power to meet the annual consumption of about 130,000 homes, once completed. Its construction will be facilitated by a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the government of Egypt, according to which power from the plant will be sold at USD 0.0248 per kWh. That this tariff was touted as the lowest one contracted for solar energy in North Africa.
Earlier this year, ACWA stated that it planned to finalize construction of the project in the first quarter of 2021, but it is now likely that completion would be delayed. The Saudi energy company secured the project through a tender held in 2019, in which it offered a final price of $0.02791/kWh. ACWA has also recently announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two Egyptian government departments relating to the evaluation of a series of renewable energy-powered water desalination projects.
According to sources, EBRD has financed several projects located at the Benban complex. Furthermore, the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Co last year secured a €183 million loan from the EBRD to help it integrate 1.3 GW of new renewable energy generation capacity into its grid as it faces the challenge of rising electricity demand.