Saudi Arabia’s ACWA signs solar PV deal in Egypt

ACWA Power will develop, finance, construct and operate a 200-MW solar photovoltaic plant in Egypt.

The announcement follows another by ACWA earlier this week that it would build 250 MW in solar PV capacity in Ethiopia. The Saudi Arabian power and water desalination firm is known for its conventional power projects but has expanded to renewables in recent years.

ACWA signed a power purchase agreement with the government of Egypt to develop, finance, construct and operate the Kom Ombo photovoltaic plant. The signing took place under the patronage of Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of Egypt; Osama Naqli, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at Egypt; and Mohamed Shaker, Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy.

“The signing of today’s project is a crucial building block that contributes to the Egyptian government’s vision – which aims to upscale sustainable energy security by molding a balanced energy mix,” Shaker said in a statement. “…we are keen to leverage renewable energy sources through transparent competitive procurement, which will cater to the country’s current clean energy needs while simultaneously safeguarding our future”.

Construction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2021. Once operational, the plant will cater to the power needs of 130,000 households, in addition to offsetting 280,000  tons of carbon dioxide per year.

In nearby Ethiopia, ACWA Power signed a letter of intent with State-owned utility Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP) and the nation’s Ministry of Finance. Under the deal, EEP and ACWA will have a long-term power purchase agreement at 2.52 cents (U.S.) per kWh for 20 years. The combined 250 MW of solar will help Ethiopia’s work to increase its overall electricity capacity from 4,300 MW currently to 17,300 MW by the end of 2020.

The project will be ACWA’s first venture into Ethiopia. The company already has operations in Morocco, South Africa and Egypt.

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