EBRD, IFC sign deal to support seawater desalination, renewables in Egypt
The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE) signed on Wednesday an advisory agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for the preparation and procurement of four seawater desalination plants.
The agreement will see IFC and EBRD support Egypt in structuring and implementing public-private partnership (PPP) desalination projects that will increase the supply of water in the country, particularly from sustainable, unconventional sources.
“The desalination project will help ensure Egypt’s water security, improve its resilience, mitigate the impact of climate change-induced freshwater scarcity and boost sustainable economic growth. Moreover, the electricity used to power the desalination plants will be procured from renewable energy sources.” an EBRD statement read.
Ensuring water security and introducing resilience and sustainability to the water supply system are a top national priority for Egypt. The North African country aims to transition coastal areas to desalinated water as their primary water source and plans to implement total desalination capacity of 8.8 million m3/day by 2050. It plans to install this capacity with the help of private-sector expertise and capital.
“Through this programme, we are delivering on Egypt’s 2030 vision, which aims to diversify the country’s water resources in a sustainable manner to achieve water security.” Karim Badr, CEO of the TSFE Infrastructure and Utilities Subfund, said.
Meanwhile, Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, said the project will help to provide water security for the country through unconventional sources of water in a sustainable manner.
“Implementing such undertakings through a PPP can help to ensure faster and more efficient project completion and the EBRD has expertise to offer in this field.” Harmgart added.
Cheick-Oumar Sylla, the IFC’s Regional Director for North Africa and Horn of Africa, said: “Water scarcity is a critical challenge in Egypt, and the country’s ambitious desalination programme is a key initiative for tackling this issue.”
“The IFC is pleased to support the government in preparing the first projects, which will help establish the foundations for the larger programme.”