The Nubian Suns program, a portfolio of 13 solar photovoltaic projects in Aswan, Egypt, has successfully reached financial close. Mott MacDonald is lender’s technical advisor to the International Finance Corporation on the program, which forms part of the Benban Solar Park, that is expected to be the world’s largest solar installation once complete.
Until recently, solar energy hasn’t been able to reach its potential in Egypt due to the previous high cost of solar plants, which meant for decades the country had to rely on fossil fuels to power its towns and villages. However, prices of solar components are now falling which is leading to a fundamental change in the way Egypt is looking to provide power to its people. The country is aiming to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022.
Collectively generating up to 752MW of power, the Nubian Suns program is expected to provide cost-effective, eco-friendly energy to over 350,000 households. It is anticipated that it will also generate up to 6000 jobs during construction, as well as continuing employment at each plant.
Mott MacDonald provided technical, environmental and social due diligence to support financial close. This involved reviewing technology proposals and plant designs, undertaking energy yield assessments, studying the capabilities and track record of each of the project’s participants and carrying out a detailed review of all financial models. The consultancy will now monitor construction and operations in an ongoing role.
Viktor Lempesis, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “Our experience of the design and construction of photovoltaic plants worldwide, coupled with our local knowledge of the Egyptian power generation and distribution sector, enabled us to swiftly identify and focus on overcoming any potential issues during the project’s financing.”
Mott MacDonald’s overall portfolio manager Amro Tabari added: “We worked closely with the lenders and project developers during the successful delivery of these projects. Our role in helping the Nubian Suns program reach financial close provides further evidence of our world-class capability in the solar photovoltaic sector.”
Construction of the 13 plants is due to be completed during the first quarter of 2019.