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ASWAN | Benban Solar Park | The World's Largest Solar Installation | 1,800MW | $2.8bn | U/C

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IFC-led consortium to lend $653m for Egypt’s Benban Solar Park - LINK


The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has finalized a $653m loan to fund 13 solar power plants to be constructed near Aswan in Egypt as part of the Benban Solar Park.

The solar plants will generate 752MW of power and contribute to the country’s efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

The initiative, ‘Nubian Suns Feed-in-Tariff Financing Program’, is expected to provide electricity to more than 350,000 residential customers.


This will be the largest private sector financing package for a solar facility in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

After completion, the Benban Solar Park will include 32 power plants and is expected to be the largest solar installation in the world.


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UK says investing $97 mln in Upper Egypt's Benban Solar Park - LINK

The UK is investing over $97 million in Upper Egypt’s Benban Solar Park, set to be the largest solar installation in the world, the British Embassy announced on Monday.


Upon completion, the facilities will comprise the largest solar installation in the world, with a planned total capacity of 1.8 GW.

Egypt has been working to upgrade its power plant capacity and renewable energy projects in order to meet rising electricity demand. It aims to shift 22 percent of the country's energy consumption to renewable sources by 2020.​
Banks Invest $653 Million To Build The World’s Largest Solar Park In Egypt


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World’s largest solar park under development in Egypt



The projects will receive no incentives, however, it will be given a 25-year contract to sell its electricity at 7.8¢/kWh to the state-owned Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and pegged to the value of the US dollar.

Currently, 29 projects have received financing – representing at least $1.8 billion in public financing. These 29 projects represent almost 1.5GW of solar power.

The land was initially laid out with 41 unique plots ranging from 0.12mi2 to 0.39mi2. The total land area of the park is approximately 14.4mi2.


Construction is underway on multiple projects at the site, including a 165MW portion that just started work.

The project’s original analysis (PDF – 220 pages)​

The project’s original analysis - Benban 1.8GW PV Solar Park, Egypt – Strategic Environmental & Social Assessment, Final Report. February 2016 (PDF – 220 pages)

The 220-page report details everything about the project, from price breakdown, benefits on the economy, environmental decisions taken and choices of location. It even talks about the engineering aspect of the project.

The following is a PDF slideshow of the report added using Skyscrapercity's BB code format. It may show as blank to some users -​
Project Beak Down

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Lahmeyer International started this year a photovoltaics project as owner’s engineer for Alcazar Energy, a Dubai-based independent developer of renewable energy facilities. The project includes the construction of four 50 MW photovoltaic plants within the Benban Solar Park project in Egypt. The Benban Solar Park near the southern city of Aswan pledges to transform Egypt into a major solar energy player in the world.

The finalised facilities will add 200 MW to the solar park in Egypt’s Western Desert, which has a planned total capacity of 1,650 MW thus representing the biggest solar installation worldwide. The construction of Alcazar’s four solar plants started last month, with expected completion in February 2019.

The project is financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – a sister organisation of the World Bank – and aims at providing Egypt, a fast-growing country of more than 90 million people, with the clean energy it needs to drive growth and fight poverty.

A sunny outlook on solar

According to its website, IFC spearheaded the financing package for the Benban project under its Nubian Suns program, marshalling support from a consortium that included nine international banks. The World Bank supported reforms to Egypt’s electricity sector and provided the country with a USD 3 billion loan. The Multilateral Investment and Guarantee Agency (MIGA), another institution of the World Bank Group, is providing USD 210 million worth of political risk insurance to private lenders and investors involved in the solar park.

In addition to jump-starting economic growth, the Benban project will help Egypt curb its carbon footprint. The entire complex is expected to avoid 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the equivalent of taking about 400,000 cars off the road.

“This project will help Egypt tap into its massive potential for solar energy and scale back its use of expensive—and polluting—fossil fuels. That’s especially important with the spectre of climate change looming,” says Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

The investments flowing into Benban are also creating jobs. This is vital in southern Egypt, where unemployment is rampant. More than 10,000 people will work at the site during construction and once the park is fully operational it will employ 4,000 people.
Banks, including IFC, EBRD to begin disbursing Benban funding in August

International lenders, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), will begin disbursing some of the USD 2 bn in foreign funding to the solar park of Benban in August, sources said. Companies who have received financing from these banks, will see an initial disbursement of some EUR 20-30 mn to finance construction of the solar plants, they added.

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Egypt inaugurates first phase of 1.8 GW Benban solar park

1st phase is complete and its already MASSIVE

Bloomberg: Desert Sun to Power Upper Egypt with $2.8 bn Solar Park

Egypt inaugurated the first solar power plant at a remote desert complex where the government plans to generate as much as 1.8 gigawatts from the sun, cutting the most populous Arab nation’s reliance on dirty and expensive fossil fuels.

The plant, developed by Germany-based Ib Vogt GmbH and a local company called Infinity Solar S.A.E., began supplying the national grid in December, Ib Vogt Chief Executive Officer Anton Milner said Tuesday in an interview. The 64-megawatt facility is the first of 32 units that the government targets for construction at Benban Solar park in southeastern Aswan province. The project, with all the plants, is to be completed next year at a cost of $2.8 billion.

“In this plant, we have 200,000 solar panels and 780 sun trackers that allow the panels to move toward the solar position throughout the day,” Amine el-Edghiri, Ib Vogt’s project manager, said during a media tour of the facility 650 kilometers (400 miles) south of Cairo on the fringes of the Nubian Desert. The photovoltaic modules arrayed across 95 hectares (235 acres) can produce enough power to supply 20,000 households, el-Edghiri said.

Egypt currently produces more than 90 percent of its power from oil and natural gas, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Benban Solar park, along with other projects in planning, should help Egypt scale back its use of hydrocarbons as the country targets generating 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2022.

Energy Imports

Formerly a gas exporter, Egypt must now import liquefied natural gas, or LNG, at a high cost to meet its energy needs. New gas fields that have started production, including the giant offshore Zohr field operated by Eni SpA, should help the country close its supply gap, trim its import bills and maybe even resume exports. Solar and wind projects will help transform the country’s menu of energy options.

Renewables are “one the most crucial” sources, Egypt Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said at the inauguration event. “We had a lot of power blackouts, and one of the reasons was that we had a big distortion in our energy mix and used to depend to a great extent on natural gas and fuel products,” he said.

‘Natural Progression’

Egypt’s first round of feed-in tariffs for solar power led to the installation of fewer than 200 megawatts of projects, out of several gigawatts of applications, due to commercial terms that many investors considered onerous. The government amended its terms in the second phase of the tariff program, including a change to allow international arbitration, to try to entice a greater number of foreign lenders and investors.

The second phase was more successful, with many projects securing financing. Improvements in technology making it cost-effective for investors to exploit the country’s abundant sunshine also made a difference.

Most countries are avoiding feed-in tariffs for competitive tenders that force developers to bid against each other for projects. Egypt issued its first competitive solar auction late last year to build a 600-megawatt plant in the West Nile region as it tries to drive down the cost of clean energy. The auction has attracted 18 applicants.

“It’s a natural progression,” Milner, Ib Vogt’s CEO, said at the solar park. “The auction-based schemes will basically be more competitive.” Milner’s company plans to build three more units at Benban and connect them all with the national grid as early as the fourth quarter, he said.

Other developers building plants at the solar park include Scatec Solar ASA of Norway, France-based EDF Energies Nouvelles SA and Total Eren, and Access Power MEA from Dubai and Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power and Al Fanar Co.
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