Acciona’s subsidiary Acciona Energía and Enara Bahrain Spv Wll, a renewable energy platform of Swicorp have announced the completion of assembly of three solar plants in Egypt with total capacity of 186MW.


Image: Acciona’s Solar plant at Benban complex in Egypt. Photo: Courtesy of Acciona.

Acciona and Swicorp will equally own the solar projects and they represent an investment of $180m. The solar projects will be located in the Benban complex set up by the Egyptian Government in the Aswan region.

The first plant is expected to begin commercial operations in a few days’ time and the remaining two will begin their operations in the next few weeks.

The solar plants in Benban come under the feed-in tariff system established by the Egyptian Administration in call for tender Round 2 published in October 2016.

They are expected to generate enough clean electricity which could be supplied to around 150,000 Egyptian homes, while avoiding nearly 297,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, had the energy been generated from conventional fuel-oil power plants.

Acciona chairman and CEO José Manuel Entrecanales said: “It is the first renewables project under our ownership in Egypt, a country that has set itself ambitious objectives in the development of renewable energies. This Beban PV complex –in which our three plants are included- is a great example of it as it will supply energy to more than ten million people.

“We are satisfied at having completed the assembly of the plants, and doing it with our partner Swicorp, with whom we have had a fantastic experience. We are working together on other renewable initiatives in Africa and the Middle East.”

Electricity from the solar plants will be supplied to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) under a long-term PPA contract for 25 years, governed by the conditions set in Round 2.

International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have agreed to provide finance for this project.

Swicorp chairman Kamel Lazaar said: “There has been a tremendous synergy with ACCIONA, with all its technical know-how and its knowledge of the international market, and our knowledge of the local market and financial engineering, so it worked very well for both parties.”

Acciona said that the solar plants cover an area of about 2.88km2 and are powered by 572,322 Astronergy’s polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic modules have been installed on horizontal axis trackers produced by STI Norland.

Construction work has taken place for over eleven months, where more than 1,000 people were employed.

Last month, the company announced the completion of the Kathu Solar Park in South Africa, a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant with 100MW of capacity. The plant uses molten salt storage system, which can provide up to 5 hours of power, even when the sun is down.