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Government begins reviewing bids for renewable energy projects

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The government has begun reviewing offers submitted by private companies to carry out renewable energy projects in Egypt, said Minister of Electricity Mohamed Hamed Shaker.

Shaker added that the four main criteria on which the offers will be judged are seriousness, technical capability, financial solvency and previous experience.

The move comes as part of state efforts to attract fresh investments to a country under pressure by nearly four years of political turmoil.

“We have already formed a committee comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Electricity and other relevant authorities to review all bids submitted by private energy firms to implement green energy projects in Egypt,” the minister said.

Shaker added that the government would also offer all land lots necessary for the energy projects through a usufruct system, while keeping the companies committed to government conditions.

Government officials said that the cabinet decided to charge the private sector with the task of investing in renewable energy. The project forms part of a government attempt to ease the electricity crisis that has paralysed daily life in the country.

In recent weeks, the country has faced a severe energy shortage producing power outages of up to six hours in some Cairo neighbourhoods. The problem is mainly linked to depleting natural resources and poor maintenance of dilapidated power plants, experts say.

In a press release issued on Monday following an Economic Group meeting, Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman said the draft investment law is still under review. The law aims at improving business activity in Egypt but has not yet been submitted to the cabinet for approval.

“The new legislation seeks to ease measures for obtaining land lots and licenses, as well as encouraging businessmen and investors to buy lands in the areas targeted for development,” Salman said.

He added that the draft law will also be submitted to the Economic Group after it is finalised.

During the Economic Group meeting, the minister said that the Suez Canal Development Project, along with other major national projects are part of an economic stimulus programme. Many job opportunities for the country’s growing youth population are just one side-effect of the programme.

Meanwhile, Minister of International Cooperation Naglaa Al-Ahwani said the government has recently managed to solve an issue with one Saudi company operating in Egypt, as the government seeks to settle all investment disputes that undermine investor confidence.

Al-Ahwani declined to name the Saudi company, saying that the government is moving forward with settling all investment disputes.

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