Egypt receives $6 bln requests for renewable energy investment licenses

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Jan 2024

Egypt has received requests worth over $6 billion from international and Gulf investors, expressing their interest in obtaining new licenses to invest in renewable energy projects, Hossam Heiba, CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), said on Sunday.

File photo: Electric sun cells face the sun at a solar power of the Benban plant in Aswan, Egypt, No
File photo: Electric sun cells face the sun at a solar power of the Benban plant in Aswan, Egypt, November 17, 2019. Picture taken November 17, 2019. REUTERS


Heiba revealed that several alliances, including a European-Gulf alliance, a Chinese alliance, and an Indian alliance, have submitted requests for these licenses, with each project valued at $2 billion.

“These new investments aim to meet domestic energy demands while also exporting green energy,” Heiba highlighted during an interview with Asharq Business.

Notably, the private sector is currently executing renewable energy projects valued at $4.4 billion; these projects are anticipated to increase the total renewable energy capacity to 10,000 megawatts by the conclusion of 2025, Mohamed Shaker, electricity minister, stated in October 2023.

Additionally, Heiba emphasized that Egypt aims to double the number of golden licenses granted, from 25 licenses in 2023 to over 50 licenses in 2024.

Presently, an average of three to five golden licenses are issued monthly, he added.

“Efforts are underway at GAFI to introduce new licenses suitable for entrepreneurs, while concurrently providing additional incentives for investors in the tourism and environmental sectors,” Heiba noted.

The Egyptian cabinet is currently deliberating the approval of 10 new golden licenses, which will open the door for all sectors to obtain such licenses, consequently encouraging investment and attracting more foreign currency, Heiba said previously.

Egypt faces a pressing shortage of foreign currency, resulting in crises across various sectors and multiple exchange rates for the Egyptian pound against the US dollar.

Consequently, the country is striving to enhance its annual foreign currency revenues to $300 billion by 2030, a significant increase from the current $100 billion relying on diverse sources, including exports, tourism, remittances, foreign direct investments (FDIs), the Suez Canal, and outsourcing services.

In 2023, Egypt took substantial measures to promote and attract investments, including a 62 percent reduction in the paperwork required for new companies to commence operations.

The country has set a target to raise the private sector's contribution to the economy from 60 percent to 90 percent between 2024 and 2030.

Egypt is actively seeking foreign investments, with a focus on Gulf nations, to promote economic recovery and meet its obligations under the $3 billion loan agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2022.

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