Egypt to Tender For 17 New Solar Powered Desalination Plants

  • The Egyptian Sovereign Wealth Fund is looking to raise a total of US2.5 billion by 2025 for 17 new solar powered desalination plants to supply drinking water to the people of Egypt.
  • Fresh water resources are becoming increasingly scarce due to drought plus water security concerns have been raised by Ethiopia’s construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) upstream from Egypt, on the Blue Nile. Read more
  • Over 90% of Egypt’s water needs comes from the Nile River.

According to Ayman Soliman, Director General of the Egypt Fund, a call for financing will be launched in the first quarter of 2022 for local and international investors.

The 17 seawater desalination plants will provide a total of 2.8 million m3 of drinking water per day to the population. The plants will be powered by solar energy to reduce the carbon impact and costs of reverse osmosis, the most common desalination process which is very energy-intensive.

Related news: construction of desalination plant completed in Egypt

According to Assem El-Gazzar, the Egyptian Minister of Housing, the country already has 76 seawater desalination plants that supply 831,690 m3 per day.

Egypt relies on the support of private actors, notably through public-private partnerships (PPPs) for new build water and solar projects. News agency Bloomberg, quoting Soliman, said several investors have expressed interest, although they have not been identified.

Soliman said the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corp will give technical support and advice on the tender slated to begin in the first quarter of 2022.

The project will benefit from Egypt’s competitive advantage in producing cheap renewable power and also allow access to green financing, potentially reducing costs, according to Soliman.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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