Egypt’s 37km2 Benban Solar Park set for mid-2019 operational start

Updates about 1.8-gigawatt project come as World Bank president, David Malpass, tours megaproject's site

Benban will be among the world's largest solar parks [representational image].
Benban will be among the world's largest solar parks [representational image].

The 1.8 GW Benban Solar Park which is being constructed in Egypt’s Aswan province will be fully operational this year, according to reports from Chinese news agency Xinhua.

The news comes a day after World Bank’s newly appointed president, David Malpass, visited the 37km2 photovoltaic (PV) solar park that will be among the world’s largest solar facilities upon completion.

Commenting on energy sector reforms that are set to boost the country’s economy, Malpass said: “The reforms in energy sector made by Egypt have opened a door for strong investments by the private sector.”

Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, said about the project: “Benban Solar Park comes as the country is taking unprecedented steps to create a modern legislative framework to attract foreign investment.”

The solar park, which is expected to be fully operational by mid-2019, will help bolster Egypt’s use of renewable energy to meet 22% of the country domestic energy needs by 2020.

In April 2019, Oslo Stock Exchange-listed Scatec Solar, an independent solar power producer, had begun operations on its 65-megawatt photovoltaic power plant within the Benban Solar Park, alongside KLP Norfund and Africa 50.

Scatec Solar’s new plant forms part of its total 400 MW capacity being generated through six plants within Benban.

China’s TBEA Sunoasis, a renewable energy company had completed the construction of three solar power stations at the Benban solar park with a capacity of 186MW.

The plants will be operated by Spain’s Acciona and Saudi investment firm Swicorp-held Enara Bahrain under a $180m agreement.

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