The wholly-owned subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT), O Capital, signed a cooperation agreement with the European leader in solar panel manufacturing REC.
The cooperation aims to provide solar power solutions in Egypt, Africa and the Middle East (EAMA) region.
The signing of the agreement took place between Tamer Elmahdy, Chairman of O Capital /Deputy CEO of OTMT and Luc Gare, Senior Vice President EMEA at REC.
Elmahdy told Daily News Egypt that the cooperation with REC will last for two years.
“Besides manufacturing solar panels, we have a very strong competency in the construction of solar plants, we already have a track record of more than 10 years in building solar power plants and those can start from 5 MW to more than 30 MW,” Gare told Daily News Egypt.
According to Gare, his company has been holding talks with a number of potential local partners in the Egyptian market, and found OTMT to be the most compatible partner to cooperate with.
With the new association, O Capital will be responsible for managing tender processes for solar installations in commercial, residential and utility segments. Orascom will also be bringing its local expertise and contacts with clients and the government to the table.
Meanwhile, REC will bring in its competency in the knowhow and design of solar plants, Gare said, in addition to the company’s strong engineering expertise.
“I believe solar energy has huge potential here in Egypt as it will help the country reduce the dependency on importing fossil fuel and it will also help stabilise the electricity network, which is still unstable in so many regions in Egypt,” Gare noted when asked about the potential of the sector in the Egyptian market.
He further added that the implementation of solar power plants tends to be much faster than other types, such as coal and wind. “For instance, a 20 MW plant can be built in six months. There’s no older technology that can be implemented that fast. We see very high potential for this sector in Egypt and we see it also in the investors who are ready to invest in solar energy. These are enough signs that it is a strong market”.
Solar power technologies are much better than using coal as an alternative source of energy, according to Gare. When asked about the cost difference, however, and the fact that solar power is much more expensive than using coal, Gare indicated that “what is quite often forgotten in the cost of coal is also the additional environmental and health costs; those are
costs no one is talking about. It’s a no brainer that solar is the right technology and it will actually become cheaper in the future”.
O Capital was established in March 2015. The company’s main interest is in the energy sector, where it aims to implement, construct and manage complex power plants and projects in Egypt.
The company’s establishment comes as part of OTMT’s diversification strategy, as Naguib Sawiris, CEO of OTMT and a member of Egypt’s richest family, is working to diversify the company into transportation, infrastructure and the energy sector.
“We are focusing on complex sectors that are much-needed in the Egyptian market,” Elmahdy said.