ACWA Power, the prominent Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, has signed a US$123 million financing package to develop the 200 MW Kom Ombo project, a utility-scale solar power plant in Egypt.
Financing institutions for this project include the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) the OPEC Fund, the African Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), the Green Climate Fund, Arab Bank and APICORP (Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation).
The Kom Ombo plant will be located less than 20 km from Africa’s biggest solar park, the 1465 MW Benban complex, also developed by ACWA Power, and is expected to be commercially operational by January 2024.
While the financing documentation was originally signed in April 2021, but the altered dynamics of global supply chains owing to Covid19 also altered the dynamics for the development of solar plants. This resulted in the extension for Kom Ombo’s project execution.
Private-sector participation in the Kom Ombo project is the result of successful policy dialogue with the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), as well as a US$ 3.6 million technical assistance programme, co-funded by the EBRD and the GCF, to support the EETC in administering competitive renewable energy tenders. In addition, the project has also benefitted from broader energy-sector reforms supported by the AfDB in recent years to scale up the involvement of the private sector.
The Kom Ombo plant will contribute to the Egyptian government’s target to generate 42 % of the country’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035 while delivering one of the lowest generation tariffs in Africa.
Image: Location of Egypt's Kom Ombo solar power plant (courtesy of ACWA Power)