IFC and banks close $653m in funding for Egypt solar plants

31 October 2017

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, on Sunday said it had completed a $653-million debt package to finance building 13 solar power plants near Aswan in Egypt, planned to be part of the largest solar park in the world.

Generating up to 752 MW of solar power, the Nubian Suns Feed-in-Tariff Financing Program is targeted to provide power to more than 350 000 residents and create up to 6 000 jobs during construction.

In an effort to overcome frequent energy shortages and take advantage of year-round sunshine, Egypt announced plans in 2014 to develop renewable energy, a prospect that has enticed foreign investors.

IFC and a consortium of nine international banks will provide a $653-million debt package to finance construction of 13 solar power plants, which will join 19 other plants to make up the Benban Solar Park – the largest private-sector financing package for a solar photovoltaic facility in the Middle East and North Africa.

The plants will cost a total of $823-million to build, IFC said in a release.

“This creates an ecosystem of investors for Egypt for this program and broadens the capital base for future infrastructure spending,” Erick Becker, manager of infrastructure and natural resources Middle East and North Africa for IFC said.

IFC, which provided $202-million in financing for the project, was studying other potential opportunities in Egypt with renewable energy, both in solar and wind, Becker said. It has more than doubled the renewable share of its global power portfolio in the past decade.

Egypt’s Feed-in-Tariff program aims to use private-sector capital and expertise to help achieve its goal of providing 20% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2022.

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