Egyptian-based company Infinity Solar S.A.E. and German-based companies ib vogt GmbH and Solizer GmbH & Co. KG have announced the successful closure of a 64.1 MWp solar power plant project in Benban, Aswan, Egypt by the Infinity 50 consortium of which they are members. The project was approved by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company on 6 March 2017, confirming financial close under the first round of the Egyptian Feed-in Tariff (FiT) programme. As part of one of the largest utility-scale grid-connected solar power complexes in the world, the project represents a landmark in the development of renewable energy infrastructure in the MENA Region.
The Infinity 50 Solar Park will comprise a 64.1 MWp solar array over an area of 98.6 ha with almost 200,000 solar panels mounted on a state-of-the-art horizontal tracking system. Once operational, the plant is expected to produce over 110,000 MWh per year, equivalent to the electricity required to power almost 69,000 homes, while preventing over 1,293,000 t of CO2 emissions in the course of its 25-year lifetime. The project is part of the Benban solar development complex with a total capacity of up to 1.86 GWp, which will be one of the largest solar generation facilities in the world when completed.
The Infinity 50 project was jointly developed by Infinity Solar S.A.E, ib vogt GmbH and Solizer GmbH and obtained project financing from Bayerische Landesbank for 85% of the debt, with the remaining 15% coming from Arab African International Bank. The loan is covered by the German government through an Euler Hermes ECG.
“We are very pleased to have secured this project and to have been one of the very few consortia able to successfully qualify for the landmark Egyptian round one programme. This is the culmination of many months of preparatory work in what has been a very complex project, representing a very significant investment for the company. It also demonstrates the company’s ability to manage and structure such an undertaking. We would like to thank all of our partners for their efforts in assisting the consortium to secure the qualification for the project, the PPA and to achieve financial close. We look forward to constructing the plant and helping to bring much needed sustainable electricity with all its associated benefits to the country in 2017”, says Anton Milner, Managing Director of ib vogt GmbH.
“We are very proud to have secured this project under the FiT Round one qualifications. We would like to thank all of our partners who helped us with this landmark achievement. We look forward to operating the plant in 2017, helping the country to achieve its goals in increasing renewable energy production in its total energy mix”, says Mohamed Mansour, Managing Director of Infinity Solar S.A.E.
“We are excited about this key milestone, demonstrating, together with our partners, our ability to develop and structure such projects in the region”, says Lars Buesching, Managing Partner of Solizer GmbH & Co. KG.
This milestone was achieved following outstanding support from a number of selected advisers to the developers. Norton Rose Fulbright and Matouk Bassiouny provided legal advice, Synergy Consulting and Ikarus Capital provided financial advice and Alesco advised on insurance. Lenders were provided with technical advice by Sgurr, legal advice by Baker & McKenzie and Al Kamel and insurance advice by Indecs. The consortium was one of the three out of a total of 39 local and international developers to meet the round one FiT requirements and strict deadlines.
The solar power plant will be constructed and commissioned by ib vogt GmbH as the EPC contractor and O&M services provider. The project will create over 400 jobs in the region during the construction phase. Construction of the plant is already underway and energisation is planned to be reached by early Q4. Once energised, the plant’s entire electricity output will be sold to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) pursuant to the signed 25-year Power Purchase Agreement and other contracts. The plant will thus contribute immensely to achieving the country’s target of meeting 20% of its total energy demand through renewable energies by 2020, while marking a milestone in the development of sustainable large-scale power generation for a region where growth in demand for electricity is at 6-7% per annum.