By Mustafa Fahimi
Mohamed Helal, president of the Board of Directors for the Egyptian electronics company Futek, said that the company was planning to open its third solar panel production factory in Egypt, at an estimated cost of EGP 20m.
Helal added that the company hoped the construction of the new factory would help increase production, enabling Futek to expand into new markets, with company executives looking to increase the value of exports to $5m by 2014.
He further stated that the company sought to expand its operations in the solar energy sector, adding that the company’s three solar cell producing factories were set to operate at a total cost of EGP 50m.
Helal called for new regulations and legislation to be drafted in order to aid in the establishment and creation of additional new and renewable energy factories, adding that there still existed a number of production and development challenges facing companies seeking to invest in the sector.
He added that a number of companies were enthusiastic about the prospects of investing in solar energy projects, however many had recently been disappointed with the recent rise in cost of administering such projects. Obtaining funding for solar energy projects was difficult he said, considering the fact that solar panels produce different amounts of energy depending on the time of year, and that factories to produce such panels could only be constructed on vast plots of land that incur a high costs for investors.
Helal said that a number of factories, poultry farms, hotels, tourist resorts and airports were seeking to use new and renewable energy sources to meet up to 25% of their energy needs, and try to wean themselves off government subsidised petroleum and natural gas.