Green Climate Fund invests $65.8m in Egyptian solar

The UN-backed vehicle has partnered EBRD to finance two plants with a combined 80MW capacity in the Benban park.

The Green Climate Fund invested $65.8 million in Egypt’s renewable energy sector, with an additional $88.9 million expected under the fund’s Egypt Renewable Energy Financing Framework.

The investment marks the first tranche of the fund’s commitment to Egyptian renewables and will back the country’s feed-in tariff scheme. GCF partnered the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which earlier this year approved a $500 million framework for the sector.

The fund will contribute $14 million towards two photovoltaic plants, with a total capacity of 80MW, in the Benban solar park in Egypt’s Aswan governorate. The project was backed by an $87 million loan to Infinity Solar Energy, an Egyptian renewables firm, and Berlin-based ib vogt. GCF’s funding along with $44 million from the EBRD’s own account total $58 million in A Loans, while the Dutch Development Bank chipped in $29 million in B Loans.

Backed by the United Nations and based in South Korea, GCF was launched in 2010 to fight climate change. The fund approved the framework for its Egypt investments in April. GCF has also teamed with the EBRD in Kazakhstan, contributing $110 million to an initiative to integrate renewables into the country’s power sector.

Egypt has had significant investment in its renewables sector since launching its FiT scheme in 2014. Investment has centred on the $3.5 billion Benban park, which at 1.8GW will be one of the world’s largest solar parks. Projects at Benban have also had backing from the International Finance Corporation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.