Last July, Edison, Italy’s second largest gas company and part of the EDF Group, signed a joint venture with Egypt’s Qalaa Energy to construct a 180 MW, combined-cycle power plant by 2017. Powered by gas from Edison’s Abu Qir concession, the facility will cost €100m and will contribute to the country’s goal of adding 5.2 GW capacity annually until 2022.
Edison has been in Egypt for two decades, focusing initially on oil and gas E&P. It opened Egypt’s first LNG plant in 2001 and, in 2009, won the license for Abu Qir. Its Egyptian portfolio now comprises nine concessions. Edison has pumped €1.8bn into Egypt, to date, mostly in the upstream hydrocarbons sector, but Abu Qir marks a new step for the company, and the energy industry, in the country.
“[It] is the first of its kind as a [power] project in which an upstream producer is investing,” says Maurizio Coratella, Edison’s VP Operations, Egypt and Middle East. “Our project does not rely on financial sup- port from the government or any agreement to buy electricity the plant will generate, so we will market [it] privately on the domestic market.”