Building Energy wins first solar project in Egypt

solarmirror-sandialabs-flickrThe US$200mn project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes. (Image source: SandiaLabs/Flickr)Italian independent power producer (IPP) Building Energy has signed an MoU with the New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) for two 50MW PV plants in Benban, Upper Egypt, making it the company’s first project in the North African nation

The project is worth US$200mn, and is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 100,000 tonnes, said officials from Building Energy. Each plant is expected to generate around 143 GWh per year. Through a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), the plants will be connected to a 220 kV high-voltage line linking Asswan to Cairo, and will attempt to satisfy energy needs of more than 50,000 families in the Upper Egypt area.

The project was awarded by the NREA. Construction will begin in the summer of 2016 and is expected to last a year. The project is also likely to create 1,000 jobs during construction and a further 70 to 80 long-term jobs during operation.

Cornelius Matthes, managing director of Building Energy Middle East and North Africa is hopeful that the project will set a precedent for other nations to follow, in developing a more sustainable economy.

“We are delighted to announce our first two projects in Egypt. The country is blessed with world-class solar and wind resources and has established an extremely well-managed programme under which it aims to produce at least 20 per cent of its total power from renewable sources by 2020. This is why the Egyptian government has implemented a series of concrete steps to facilitate foreign investments, in order to meet the increasing energy needs and support the economic growth of the country.”

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