An agreement to work together on solar projects in Egypt has been signed by PV module manufacturer REC and a subsidiary of local telecoms company Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding” (OTMT).
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked between REC and OTMT subsidiary O Capital, during a visit to Egypt from a German business delegation, the German-Egyptian Business Commission, which included Germany’s deputy chancellor and energy and economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel. The German delegation is expected to also go to Morocco during the visit.
The deal, which according to REC will lead to the development of a 50MW AC solar park project in Benban and more to come after that, is the latest in a series of large-scale solar project announcements to come from the North African country in recent weeks.
REC said it will carry out engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) duties, with that first plant due for completion in September 2017.
Egypt launched a 4.3GW feed-in tariff for wind and solar in 2014, including 2GW of large-scale solar, following it up with a further 2.5GW solar programme this year. The country is also aiming to make renewable energy account for 20% of its total energy mix by 2020, from a reported 1% at current levels. Recent utility-scale projects in Egypt have been announced by others including Martifer, which yesterday said it is developing a 25MW plant, and Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, which this morning said it has completed 30MW of utility-scale PV as well as residential household PV-plus-storage systems.
“We are proud to make an important step into providing a more sustainable energy supply in North Africa with this project in Benban. Access to clean electricity in the Middle East and North Africa should not be underestimated as a factor in economic and political stability,” REC’s senior vice president of marketing and sales for the EMEA region, Luc Grare, said regarding the MoU with O Capital.
A report from the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) in February said the region has arrived as a multi-gigawatt PV market.