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Benban solar park suffers from water problem - Daily News Egypt

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Benban solar park suffers from water problem

Investors urge help from citizens, negotiations ongoing with funding agencies

A real crisis is witnessed by the solar energy projects in Benban in Aswan due to cancellation of the contract signed with the Aswaniya Company and the Aswan Governorate to supply water for projects.

The heads of the solar companies told Daily News Egypt that there were great difficulties for investors in Benban because there was no legal source for water to carry out construction or to dispose of sewage.

Discussions have begun between solar power companies and international financial institutions to discuss the possibility of legal water supply and sewage disposal, in accordance with global requirements and standards so as not to affect the projects.

One company needs 120 cubic meters per day of water for two months, which then would rise to 1,350 cubic meters in the third and fourth months of construction, decreasing in the fifth month to 150 cubic meters per day.

The heads of companies added that some investors agreed with the people in Benban to obtain water for a financial value that varies from time to time.

Solar projects are being built on an area of ​​8843.3 feddans, in accordance with the Presidential Decree No 274 of 2014. Project investments reach $2bn and provide 20,000 jobs during the two-year construction period, providing 6,000 permanent jobs in companies when the projects kick off.

An official with the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) said that it has been agreed with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation to establish solar or solar water wells to provide the water needs of the projects, but this agreement has not been implemented thus far.

According to the official, the financial value of implementation will be paid by investors within the amounts set for the cost-sharing agreement signed by the investors and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company and the NREA.

Solar companies are racing to complete the plants next year, but some hurdles prevent them.

He added that all companies qualified to set up the solar energy projects in accordance with the feed-in tariff system in cooperation with the NREA and have 12 licenses from the competent authorities after the availability of land to companies, including the armed forces, monuments, environment, interior, petroleum, tourism, and other government destinations.

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