ACWA Power’s Egypt solar project secures $123m financing
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ACWA Power’s Egypt solar project secures $123m financing

ACWA Power’s Egypt solar project secures $123m financing

The project already has equity bridge loans of $14m from the EBRD and $45m from the APICORP

Gulf Business

Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, partly owned by the Public Investment Fund, has signed a $123m financing package to develop the 200 megawatts (MW) Kom Ombo solar project in Egypt.

Financing institutions for this project include European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund), African Development Bank (AfDB), AfDB’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), Green Climate Fund (GCF), Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) and Arab Bank.

The utility firm said the financing package comprises loans of up to $36m from the EBRD, $14.6m from the OPEC Fund, $14.4m from the AfDB, $34.5m from the GCF, $14.8m from Arab Bank and $10m from the SEFA under the COVID-19 IPP relief programme.

The project already has equity bridge loans of $14m from the EBRD and $45m from the APICORP.

“ACWA Power’s successful acquisition of financing support for our renewable project is a significant milestone. We’re fully committed to fast-tracking the project’s development while staying true to Egypt’s renewable energy targets,” said Marco Arcelli, CEO of ACWA Power.

Though financing documentation was originally signed in April 2021 with the EBRD, the OPEC Fund, the GCF, AfDB and Arab Bank, ACWA said the dynamics in global supply chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic altered the dynamics for the development of solar plants.

This resulted in the extension of Kom Ombo’s project execution. The solar plant will be located less than 20km from Africa’s biggest solar park, the 1,465 MW Benban complex – another ACWA Power development – and is expected to be commercially operational in January 2024.

Once fully functional, the solar plant is expected to serve 130,000 households.

ACWA’s clean energy drive

Meanwhile, the signing of the Kom Ombo solar project financing package follows ACWA Power’s signing of a $174m financing agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to develop the Bash and Dzhankeldy wind power plants in Uzbekistan.

Read: Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power to develop 1.5GW wind plant in Uzbekistan

The financing comprises loans amounting to $40.5m for Bash and $46.5m for the Dzhankeldy funded through ADB’s ordinary capital resources. ADB will administer $40.5m for Bash and $46.5m for Dzhankeldy from Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP).

ACWA Power clean energy projects in UzbekistanThe loans will also be used to build 282.5 km of 500-kilovolt, single-circuit overhead transmission line to connect to the electricity system.

Together, Bash and Dzhankeldy will be the largest utility-scale wind power development in the Central West Asia region. Each power plant consists of 79 wind turbines, for a total of 158 turbines that will generate 3,235 gigawatt-hours and displace nearly two million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year.

The total cost of ADB’s latest collaboration with ACWA is approximately $1.35bn.  ADB has supported approximately 2,500MW of renewable energy in Uzbekistan since 2019 after the country opened up the sector to private sector participants.

Last month, ACWA Power signed agreements worth $2.5bn with the National Electric Grid of Uzbekistan to develop three solar photovoltaic projects in the Tashkent, Bukhara, and Samarkand regions of the country.

The contracts also include three battery energy storage systems with a total combined capacity of 1,500MW.  In August 2022, ACWA Power said Uzbekistan was the largest market for its investments outside of Saudi Arabia.

The projects are expected to play an instrumental role in achieving Uzbekistan’s ambitious targets to transition to a low-carbon economy as well as diversify its energy sources. The country’s targets to reform the energy sector entail generating 35 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Read: OPEC Fund, ACWA Power sign $40m loan deals to build wind farms in Uzbekistan

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