The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company has agreed with the Export-Import Bank of China (EximBank) Ito finance a 2,400MW pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH) project with $2.6bn loan.
A high-profile source in the Ministry of Electricity told Daily News Egypt that ongoing negotiations with the Chinese bank over the loan’s interest rate, repayment period, and grace period will be completed within the next month.
Sinohydro, a Chinese state-owned hydropower engineering and construction company, will execute a PSH plant to produce electricity in Mount Ataka area, northeast Egypt, under EPC + Finance scheme. The Chinese company will secure finance from banks and deliver it to the EEHC that will execute the project. The EEHC will then repay the loan after the project is completed.
The sources added that the EEHC reviewed the technical aspects of the project in cooperation with the Artelia Group, the consultant of the project. All contracts are expected to be signed by the end of June.
The sources pointed out that there are some measures underway in the project, including the approval of land allocation in the Ataka area for the implementation of the project.
The project is the largest of its kind in the Middle East and the fifth globally to generate electricity from hydroelectric plants using pumped-storage technology. The pumped-storage stations are the most efficient means of storing energy.
Ataka PHS project will be one of the best technologies for storing electricity in the world and has many advantages, especially in terms of network operation costs and storage factors for solar and wind power.
The sources said that the project contributes to the consolidation of the unified electricity grid used to store electricity produced from renewable sources, improves the reliability of these sources in the supply of electricity, and uses the treated water in sewage plants to operate its turbines.