Nine lenders back Egypt solar FiT projects

30 Oct 2017

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has put together a syndicate of nine international lenders to back Nubian Suns, a group of 13 solar PV projects totalling 800MW of capacity within the second round of Egypt’s solar feed-in tariff (FiT) programme. The syndicate has put together a debt package worth $653m. Alongside IFC itself, the other lenders are the UK's CDC Group, the African Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Arab Bank (Bahrain), Europe Arab Bank, Finance in Motion, FinnFund, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), and OeEB of Austria.

The projects have been developed by six consortia led respectively by US-based fund Alcazar Energy, Spain’s Acciona Energia, Iraq’s Al Bilal Group, Germany’s ib vogt, Egypt’s Taqa Arabia and India’s Shapoorji Pallonji Group. The deadline for financial close of the projects was 26 October and the developers are required to commission operating plants within 12 months.

Nubian Suns will form part of the Benban Solar Park near Aswan which, when completed, will comprise 32 individual projects. Together they will make up the largest solar PV farm with a installed capacity of up to 1.8GW.

UK-based CDC has committed $97m to nine of the 13 projects.  Its head of project finance, Iain Macaulay said: “This is our largest infrastructure investment in Africa this year. We’ve worked closely with our partners, led by the IFC, to provide the right type of long-term finance to support the Nubian Suns project and bring power and jobs to the country.”

The Benban Solar Park is an important part of Egypt’s national goal to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2022, and to use private capital to develop much of the necessary capacity. However, according to African Energy Live Data’s own analyses, a parallel push to develop large scale gas-fired generation facilities means that renewables are only likely to account for 10% of total capacity by then.

More to come in the next issue of African Energy on 9 November.