Wednesday,26 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1367, (2 - 8 November 2017)
Wednesday,26 September, 2018
Issue 1367, (2 - 8 November 2017)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

IFC funds Benban solar plant
THE INTERNATIONAL Finance Corporation (IFC) has finalised a $653 million loan package with the Egyptian government to finance the development of 13 solar power plants. “The power plants will generate up to 752 megawatts of solar power, supplying Egypt with clean, renewable energy and contributing to energy security in the region,” says an IFC press release.

The power plants are part of Benban Solar Park in Aswan governorate which, once complete, will be the largest solar installation in the world.
According to the IFC, the deal is the largest private sector financing package for a solar photovoltaic facility in the Middle East and North Africa. The banks forming the consortium are investing for the first time in Egypt’s renewable energy sector.

The Benban project, officially named the Nubian Suns Feed-in-Tariff Financing Programme, will include 32 power plants and is expected to provide power to over 350,000 residential customers and generate up to 6,000 jobs during construction.

The programme seeks to attract the private sector to invest money and expertise to support Egypt’s goal of generating 20 per cent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2022.

Pursuing a political solution
THE ARAB Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen concluded its meeting in Riyadh this week with a statement focusing on rebuilding the war-torn country.

The participants, including foreign ministers and chiefs-of-staff of coalition members, stressed to the importance of exposing the plans of the Iranian-backed militias in Yemen.

Addressing the attendees, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri said that Egypt’s position, like that of others in the coalition, was built on two non-negotiable principle. First, no solution can be imposed by force: the only way out of the current crisis is political and can be achieved through UNSC Resolution 2216 according to which rebels must withdraw from all areas they control and give up their arms. Second, Egypt will continue to support the legitimate government in Yemen and refuse to allow any threats to the security of Saudi Arabia.

Participants at the meeting discussed ways member states could further coordinate over delivering aid to civilians.

The Yemeni civil war erupted in September 2014 when Houthi movement rebels backed by Iran seized the capital Sanaa from then-president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

More work with the EU
FOREIGN Minister Sameh Shoukri met with European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Johannes Hahn this week to discuss the framework for cooperation between Egypt and the EU during the next three years.

During the Cairo meeting the two officials stresed the importance of joint cooperation to counter-terrorism and fight illegal migration.

The first round of Egyptian-European talks on illegal immigration will be held at the end of this month.

During Monday’s meeting Shoukri and Hahn signed a memorandum of understanding covering European financial assistance for development projects included in Egypt’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2030.

The signing came a day after Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr and Hahn signed three agreements and an MoU with a total value of €600 million for the funding of social, environmental and infrastructure projects.

The three agreements involve projects in the fields of sanitation and migration, as well as support for refugees in Egypt.

The MoU sets out EU priorities for aid to Egypt between 2017 and 2020. It covers renewable energy, environmental protection, social development and social protectiont.

The EU’s current projects in Egypt are worth more than €1.3 billion, according to the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation.

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