Building Energy (BE), an independent Italian power producer from renewable sources, announced Monday the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) for two 50 MW photovoltaic (PV) plants in Benban, Upper Egypt.
The project was awarded by the NREA and will cost $200m, while each plant is expected to generate around 143 GWh per year. The project is expected to contribute in reducing over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The project’s construction will start in summer 2016, and it will take 12 month to be completed, creating more than 1,000 jobs during construction and a further 70 to 80 long-term jobs during operation.
The plants will be connected to the 220 kV high voltage line linking Aswan to Cairo, providing energy to a total of 50,000 families, through a 25 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
BE has been present in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region since 2014 with its Dubai office managing and coordinating its projects in the region.
In Egypt, in addition to the Benban project, BE is also the leader of a short-list alliance for the development of a 200 MW PV plant in Kum Ombo. Moreover, the company is shortlisted for other large-scale PV projects in Jordan.
“We are delighted to announce the kick-off of our first two projects in Egypt. The country is blessed with world class solar and wind resources and has established a well-managed program under which it aims to produce at least 20% of its total power from renewable sources by 2020,” said Building Energy’s Managing Director of the MENA, Cornelius Matthes.
“Through these projects, we will manage to positively impact the country, not only contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions, but also boosting the economy through the creation of 1000 new jobs”, Matthes noted.
Egypt has opened up renewable energy projects to investments in order to cover its power consumption and reach a more stable energy mix.
Two other MoUs were previously signed between the government and Lekela Power to implement projects for a 50 MW solar power plant and a 50MW wind power plant in the Gulf of Suez, with investments amounting to approximately $ 180m.