The Board of Executive Directors of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, approved on July 20 an investment of $635 million that will help construct, operate, and maintain up to 11 solar power plants in Egypt.
The combined capacity of the plants amount to 500 megawatts. This will be one of the largest private foreign direct investments in the country’s power sector in recent years.
Part of Egypt’s landmark solar Feed-In Tariff (FIT) programme, the $730 million project in Benban, near Aswan, aims to mobilise private investment to build the world’s largest solar photovoltaic generation park, harnessing the country’s vast solar resources. As well as helping to spur economic growth, the project will help drive the local economy, including the creation of temporary and long-term jobs and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“This landmark investment demonstrates that when you have the right reform policies, and a government willing to allow greater involvement by the private sector, you can attract investors in every sector, including infrastructure,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Investments like these are the nucleus for economic growth, which is needed in Egypt.”
Egypt’s solar FIT programme, which includes projects financed by other institutions like the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Proparco, is expected to be one of the largest foreign direct investments (FDIs) in years, catalyzing a total inflow of $2 billion.