The Board of Executive Directors of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has approved an investment of $635 million that will help construct, operate and maintain the world's largest solar photovoltaic generation park in Benban, Egypt. The solar photovoltaic generation park is made up of to 11 solar power plants with a combined capacity that amounts to 500 megawatts.
The solar project is expected to help boost Egypt's economy, including the creation of temporary and long-term jobs and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“This landmark investment demonstrates that when you have the right reform policies, and a government willing to allow greater involvement by the private sector, you can attract investors in every sector, including infrastructure,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, Director at IFC for the Middle East and North Afrika.
The investment by the World Bank's IFC will be one of the largest private foreign direct investments in Egypt's power sector in recent years.
“Investments like these are the nucleus for economic growth, which is needed in Egyp,” added Makhlouf.
Part of Egypt's landmark solar Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program, the $730 million project aims to mobilize private investment to harness the country's vast solar resources.
The program will introduce multiple regional and international investors to the North Afrikan country, as well as a number of new lenders. This important as it highlights Egypt's re-emergence and attractiveness as an investment destination.
This project is also a result of a joint World Bank Group implementation plan in which IBRD, IFC and MIGA work together to respond to a key priority for Egypt's government. IBRD has supported reforms in the energy sector over the last three years, for example, to enable private sector-led renewable energy development in Egypt.