Minister of Electricity Mohammed Shaker (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker inaugurated on Tuesday the first phase of Egypt's Benban solar park in Aswan, set to be largest in the world upon completion at 1.8 GW total capacity, Arabic Ahram news website reported.
The event marks the inauguration of Infinity Solar’s 50 MW power plant, which began trial operation last December.
Thirty solar projects have achieved financial close, with over $2.2 billion in financing, according to Zulficar & Partners Law Firm who advised the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) on the second round of the feed-in-tariff solar programme in Benban.
The 30 projects have an aggregate installed capacity of 1.6 GW.
The International Financial Corporation is providing $653 million for the construction of 13 solar power plants, according to a statement in October 2017.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is also providing financing for 16 projects in Benban as part of its $500 million framework for financing renewable energy in Egypt, the bank said in September last year.
The Benban project, which was decreed by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in 2015 and allocated a 37-square-kilometer plot, is set to be completed by mid-2019.
Egypt aims to increase its use of renewable energy to 22 percent of all domestically energy by 2020.