Egypt, EBRD collaboration boosts private sector role in renewable energy 

Daily News Egypt
4 Min Read

Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, hailed the successful joint efforts between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Egypt’s private sector in advancing national development priorities.

This collaboration has demonstrably strengthened the participation of private companies, particularly in the crucial renewable energy sector.

Award-Winning Project Highlights Success

Al-Mashat’s remarks come after ACWA Power’s $114m solar power plant project in Aswan, financed by the EBRD, secured the “Energy Transition Deal of the Year in Africa” award at the 2023 Infrastructure Journal Global Awards. This project exemplifies the effectiveness of the partnership between the EBRD and Egyptian private enterprise.

Structural Reforms Pave the Way

The Minister emphasised the significance of structural reforms implemented by the Egyptian government in the energy sector since 2014. These reforms have significantly stimulated private sector involvement in major projects, fostered the expansion of renewable energy initiatives, and attracted diverse development partners to contribute financially and technically.

Collaboration Extends Beyond Individual Projects

 Al-Mashat highlighted the presence of numerous successful partnership models between development partners and leading private sector companies. Notably, the Benban solar energy complex in Aswan, one of the largest such projects globally, stands as a testament to this collaborative approach. Here, a consortium of development partners including the EBRD, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) co-financed the participation of eleven private companies.

The Minister expressed her commitment to further strengthening collaboration with development partners to empower Egypt’s private sector. A key initiative in this direction is the launch of the “Private Sector Engagement Portal: Hub for Advisory, Finance & Investment for Enterprises.” This first-of-its-kind platform bridges the information gap by providing comprehensive details on the financial and non-financial services offered by development partners to Egyptian enterprises of all sizes, from established corporations to emerging startups.

NWFE Program: A Stepping Stone Towards Sustainability

The Ministry, in collaboration with national entities and the EBRD, is actively mobilizing concessional development financing, technical support, and private sector investments to execute the energy pillar within the “NWFE” program. This program aims to install 10 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity, ultimately replacing 10 thermal power plants with a combined capacity of 5 gigawatts. This initiative significantly bolsters Egypt’s transition towards renewable energy sources and aligns with its ambitious goal of achieving a 42% renewable energy share by 2030, five years ahead of the initial target.

It is noteworthy that since 2012, when Egypt became a full EBRD member of operations, the bank has contributed over €12bn in investments across 174 government and private sector projects. Notably, more than 80% of these funds have been specifically directed towards the private sector.

Furthermore, the Egyptian private sector successfully attracted $10.3bn in development financing from multilateral and bilateral partners between 2020 and 2023. This funding encompassed various forms, including concessional loans, equity contributions, technical assistance, and indirect financing through business accelerators.

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