Egypt's National Renewable Energies Authority has signed a contract under which the engineering unit of Spanish utility Iberdrola and Japanese firm Mitsui will build a turnkey 150MW solar thermal generating plant in Kuraymat, Egypt, at a cost of E150 million.

The new hybrid solar-thermal and gas-fire plant will produce enough electricity to supply 200,000 homes. Iberdrola’s engineering unit will handle design engineering, equipment procurement, construction and assembly of the plant.

The plant is of the ISCCS (integrated solar combined-cycle system) design, and achieves maximum energy efficiency by combining solar and gas inputs.

At night, the Kuraymat plant will operate like a conventional combined-cycle plant, burning natural gas to produce 110MW of electricity and, at midday, the use of solar thermal energy will raise its generation capacity to 150MW.

Prior to receiving this new contract, Iberdrola’s engineering subsidiary won a contract to build a 403MW combined-cycle power plant worth E311 million in the Ural region of Russia.