IFC backs Egypt solar plants with $635m deal

The financing will help build 11 facilities with 500MW capacity, part of a $730m project under the country’s feed-in tariff scheme.

The International Finance Corporation will back Egypt’s solar industry with a $635 million investment for the construction and operation of 11 plants with a 500MW capacity.

The $730 million project – backed by the country’s feed-in tariff scheme, launched in 2014 – will be built in Benban, part of the Aswan governorate in southern Egypt.

“This landmark investment demonstrates that when you have the right reform policies and a government willing to allow greater involvement by the private sector, you can attract investors in every sector, including infrastructure,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Since launching the FiT scheme, which offers long-term power purchase agreements under a price guarantee for wind and solar projects, Egypt has looked to tap into private investment. The 1.8GW Benban project will be one of the world’s largest solar parks.

IFC is the latest multilateral to back the programme. In June, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development approved a $500 million framework to support 16 solar projects in the country.

For Egypt, the renewables push comes as the country seeks to reduce carbon emissions under the Paris Climate Agreement and to tackle a growing power deficit. The country aims to have 20 percent of its energy needs met by renewables by 2022.