OneraSystems offers to build $90 mn solar power plant in Egypt

Waad Ahmed , Sunday 16 Nov 2014

OneraSystems offers to build four solar power plants following cabinet approval of feed-in tariffs; renewable energy bids to be decided 26 November

power plant
File photo: Egypt is benefiting from Chinese expertise in establishing plants to generate power from solar energy (Photo: Reuters)

A consortium of Egyptian investors is planning to build four solar powered electricity stations with a capacity of 50 megawatts (mW) each, the CEO of one of the participating companies said Sunday.

Each station would cost $90-$100 million with an expected rate of return of 14 percent, said OneraSystems CEO Wael Al-Nashar in a phone interview. 

The consortium is comprised of three local banks, two local companies and two international companies, said Al-Nashar without specifying their names. They have already submitted an offer to the Ministry of electricity, to be decided upon 26 November.

The ministry is currently accepting offers by investors to produce electricity through wind or solar energy.

In September, Egypt's cabinet approved feed-in tariffs for renewable energy production, enabling solar energy producers to sell electricity to the government. OneraSystems and its partners will be able to sell electricity at 14.34 cents per kilowatt per hour for the maximum production tranche of 50 mW.

Payment will be in domestic currency according to the exchange rate at the time of payment.

"We are not expecting to have all four stations approved as there are other bidders," said Al-Nashar.

The Ministry of Electricity is only accepting offers to produce a total of 2000 mW in renewable energy, Al-Nashar said.

Land will be provided to private investors through usufruct agreements at competitive prices. For solar energy projects, land will be offered for 25 years whereas wind energy projects will have 20 years of land use.

Egypt has been suffering from an energy crunch for almost four years, an issue that recently elected President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi plans to solve by encouraging investment in electricity production.

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