Bahrain-headquartered Terra Sola Group for solar power generation has proposed to invest $3.5bn in Egypt in a project aiming to develop solar photovoltaic technology, the group’s chairman David Heimhofer revealed.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb met on Tuesday with Heimhofer, alongside Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker, to discuss the project, according to a cabinet statement.
The project is expected to generate annual revenues of $760m, in addition to creating 20,000 job opportunities in the first year of operation, Heimhofer said. He added that his company has operated many solar energy projects in Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Jordan and Oman.
Mehleb said the government has received several proposals in the solar energy field from international companies, and that he will form a committee, represented by concerned ministries, to study them.
With Egypt aiming to produce 20% of its energy using new and renewable sources by 2020, there has been much activity in the solar energy sector. Last September, Shaker announced the pricing for electricity generated by new and renewable energy sources for households and private sector companies, through a system that is known as the “feed-in” tariff.
The feed-in tariff’s purpose is to encourage private investment in the field due to limited resources from conventional sources of fuel, according to Shaker. The energy tariff has been divided into five categories, so that the price per kilowatt for households is EGP 0.84, but for 200 kilowatts of usage, the price rises to EGP 0.911.
In 2014, Italy provided Egypt with an EGP 3.5m grant for the development of solar powered electrical units the Fayoum governorate’s Wadi Al-Rayan wildlife reserve, according to the Ministry of Environment.
The government has also studied using solar energy to generate power to light outdoor advertising banners, instead of depending on traditional electricity.