World Bank Supports the First Solar Thermal Hybrid Project in Egypt

Monday, December 17, 2007

The World Bank today approved a US$327.57 million Power Project for the Republic of Egypt where the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is contributing US$49.80 million to finance the solar portion of a new hybrid power plant.
In Egypt, investment needs in power infrastructure remain substantial. The increase in demand for electricity in Egypt averaged about 7% between 1997-2004 and is expected to remain in the 6–7% range over the next decade.  Within its reform agenda, the Government has set an ambitious target to have 20% of installed capacity in the form of renewable energy by 2020.

The project will finance the construction of an innovative Integrated Solar Combined Cycle power plant, to be located in Kureimat, about 95 km south of Cairo, on the eastern side of the river Nile.  The plant will have a capacity of about 150MW and will be relying on natural gas and solar power for electricity generation thus contributing to the diversification of power production inEgypt. The project will also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the market share of low greenhouse gas emitting technologies.

“Egypt’s reform agenda prioritizes enhanced service delivery to the poor through investments in physical and social infrastructure.  This project is in line with the Country Assistance Strategy for Egypt which emphasizes the provision of public goods through modernized infrastructure services to achieve sustainable growth.  This innovative experience specifically contributes to the Government’s commitment to develop its renewable energy resources, “said Emmanuel Mbi, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.

The project is co-financed by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, GEF and the National Renewable Energy Authority (NREA).  NREA, as the Executing Agency will be responsible for project management.  “The success of this project will rely on NREA’s experience in designing and implementing renewable energy projects with co-financing resources.  Having Egypt participate in the implementation of these innovative projects supported by the GEF will contribute to a better understanding of the significant potential of using the sun for power generation.  ” said Anna Bjerde, World Bank Task Team Leader of the Project.
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Source: World Bank