A 30-megawatt solar power plant in Egypt’s EBRD-financed Benban solar park has begun electricity generation. Alex Irwin-Hunt reports

The first of 16 solar plants financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) at Egypt’s Benban solar park have been completed and connected to the national electricity grid.

The solar park was developed by a sponsor consortium led by Infinity Solar Energy SAE – an Egyptian company established in July 2014 to develop renewable energy projects across Africa and the Middle East – and also includes German solar specialist ib Vogt, Mimid, the investment arm of the Mansour and Maghraby Groups, and BPE Partners, an Egypt-focused private equity firm.

The 30-megawatt (MW) plant is now generating clean electricity for north Africa’s largest economy, signalling rapid progress since the EBRD approved a $500m framework in 2017 to support the development of Africa’s largest solar park.

“This is really a milestone. It was not much more than a year ago that we signed the financing for these projects and the first one is already contributing to Egypt’s green transition,” said Nandita Parshad, EBRD managing director for sustainable infrastructure.

“The speed with which these projects are already bringing clean energy to Egypt is a tribute to Infinity Solar, the Egyptian energy sector authorities and the support of the Aswan Governorate,” she added.

Once completed, the 16 plants in the Benban solar park will deliver 750MW of solar photovoltaic capacity. The park as a whole
is expected to lead to an annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 900,000 tonnes.

The EBRD invested €2bn in more than 50 projects in the south and eastern Mediterranean region in 2018, including the bank’s first investments in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.

Egypt, a founding member of the bank, was the largest EBRD country of operations in 2018 with a total investment volume of €1.15bn across 19 projects. Since it began investing in the country in 2012, the bank has now invested more than €4.7bn in 92 projects.

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
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