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Scatec to add 400MW of Egyptian solar

The Norwegian firm signed 25-year PPAs with the Egyptian government for six plants on a 1.8GW solar park near Aswan.

Oslo-based Scatec Solar will build six solar plants delivering 400MW of electricity in Egypt, as the firm signed 25-year power purchase agreements with the Egyptian government this month.

The investments will total an estimated $450 million, with Scatec building, owning and operating the projects and investing $50 million to $70 million in equity. KLP Norfund Investments, also based in Oslo, as well as unnamed local developers will also provide equity, while additional partners may be brought on board before the project reaches financial close. A consortium of banks led by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will provide up to $350 million in debt.

The solar farms will be in Benban, part of the Aswan governorate in the south of the country, where the government plans a 1.8GW solar park as part of a solar push announced in 2014. The six plants are expected to generate 870GWh per year, as Egypt looks to reduce carbon emission under the Paris Climate Agreement.

“With this programme, the government of Egypt is making important steps towards accessing clean and low cost electricity to drive development and economic prosperity,” Raymond Carlsen, Scatec's chief executive, said. “Scatec Solar and partners are making significant investments and long term commitment to Egypt.”

A signing ceremony for the latest PPA was held in Cairo on 13 April. Scatec first entered the Egyptian market in March 2015, as Egypt looked towards renewables to tackle a growing power deficit. Egypt aims to meet 20 percent of its energy needs through renewables by 2022.