By Mohamed Adel
The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) will soon offer 7, 622 sq km of land for private sector investors to begin work on energy development projects under the Build, Operate, Transfer (B.O.T.) scheme.
Laila Georgy, the NREA executive chairman, stated that a bid round would be held for investors to own the rights to construct wind energy stations on land in the Gulf of Suez area (1,222 sq km), West Nile (4,200 sq km) and East Nile (2,200 sq km) regions.
The NREA would require investors to sell their electricity to private sector companies without government guarantees that this electricity would be purchased.
The government has decided to set aside these lands for construction of new and renewable energy stations to be executed by either the public or the private sector. Land would be sold to private companies for a small fee under the B.O.T. scheme, granting them use anywhere between 20 to 25 years. Products used by private companies in the production of renewable energy sources would not be subject to taxes or customs duties.
A committee formed within the High Council of Energy tasked with seeking out development projects involved in the production of electric energy, is currently discussing the issue of the government’s inability to provide guarantees to private sector companies regarding the purchase of electric energy. Georgy said she has recently joined this committee and that she hopes to reach an agreement with the parties involved regarding government guarantees of purchase.
The NREA is currently reviewing a feasibility study for two projects in the Gulf of Suez, one in conjunction with the German Reconstruction Bank, the French Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and European Commission, that would produce 200 MW of wind energy.
Regarding plans to build 85 MW wind farms in the city of Zafrana, the NREA requested that the Spanish company tasked with building these farms amend some aspects of its contract before taking over construction.
Georgy added that the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation was currently using solar energy to light small villages located far from the country’s main energy grid, adding that the NREA was able to provide energy to villages within 600 km of the electrical network located off the 4.5 km Suez road.
The NREA sought to involve Egyptian banks and investors in the plans to develop new and renewable energy in the coming months.
Georgy added that the cost of producing new and renewable energy was between 5 and 6 cents per kW/h, and that wind energy was currently cheaper to produce then solar.
She also discussed plans to fund a 200 MW plant in conjunction with the German Reconstruction Bank, European Investment Bank and European Commission and to have their Egyptian counterparts represented in the NREA. Plans to build a 220 MW plan are also under way with the Japanese government.