Saudi independent power producer Acwa Power (IPP) has won the contract to build the Kom Ombo solar photovoltaic power plant in Upper Egypt. It will have a capacity of 200 MWp.
It is no surprise that Acwa Power, an independent power producer (IPP) based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, will build the Kom Ombo solar photovoltaic plant in Upper Egypt. The company was in a strong position on this project, since it had made the best proposal to the Egyptian authorities.
For example, a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) was signed by Rajit Nanda, Chief Investment Officer of Acwa Power and Sabah Mashaly, President of the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), the company that provides electricity utilities in Egypt. The latter will buy electricity per kWh at $0.027 52.
The plant operational in 2021
“This is the lowest contracted solar energy tariff to date in North Africa. It reflects not only the continuous improvement of technology and the entrepreneurial spirit of the developer Acwa Power, but also Egypt’s attractiveness as an investment destination. The country’s business environment makes it possible to finance, build and operate this type of facility efficiently (solar power plants, editor’s note),” says Mohamed Shaker, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy.
Several other PPIs were competing for this concession. One example is EDF Renouvelables, a subsidiary of the giant Electricité de France (EDF), which has decided to compete alongside the Egyptian company El Sewedy Electric and the Japanese Marubeni Corporation. The British investment fund Actis and the Spanish company Eficiencia Energética de Galicia (Energal) have also formed a consortium to apply for the tender for the Kom Ombo solar photovoltaic project.
The power plant that will be built near this historic city will be composed of two-sided solar panels that are able to capture solar radiation on both sides of the module. The facility will have a capacity of 200 MWp. “Construction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. Once operational, the plant will meet the electricity needs of 130,000 households, in addition to offsetting 280,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year,” says Acwa Power.
Support for this project comes from the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica). For Acwa Power, this is the second good news since the beginning of the third quarter of 2019. The company, which employs more than 3,000 people recently won the tender for the construction of two solar power plants with a combined capacity of 250 MWp under the World Bank’s “Scaling Solar” programme in Ethiopia.
Jean Marie Takouleu