Egypt to start undertaking to transform sand into photo voltaic panels

February 4, 2021

The Egypt-based Enara group for renewable energy services signed a cooperation protocol with the Chinese energy company Chint on December 28, 2020 to establish a project for the local production of solar modules from silica-rich sand – a first in Egypt.

Mohammad Adel, project development manager at Enara, told Al-Monitor over the phone that the collaboration with the Chinese company will mean a quantum leap in the field of solar energy in Egypt, as the company has great experience in the field and has already installed three solar power plants in Benban -Solar Complex in Aswan Governorate.

Adel said the Enara Group is trying to promote local manufacturing, localize modern technology and share global experiences in energy and agriculture through the use of new and renewable energy sources. He said the group is also seeking the government’s contribution in its development plan to boost Egypt’s economy.

The project, he said, will make a major breakthrough in solar power generation and will be a first in Egypt.

Enara signed a cooperation protocol on January 25 with the National Organization for Military Production (NOMP) affiliated with the Ministry of Military Production and the Nasser Social Bank with the aim of funding small customers and encouraging them to use solar energy in agriculture Sector.

Nasser Social Bank is entrusted with the Ministry of Social Solidarity to finance the small projects approved by the Ministry.

Sherif el-Gabaly, chairman of the board of directors of Enara, told Al-Monitor by phone that he was delighted to have the fruitful cooperation with the Ministry of Military Production and the Ministry of Social Solidarity as it would benefit the agricultural sector in Egypt.

Gabaly said that one of the main Enara Group’s current goals is to generate and distribute electricity to the agricultural sector, especially given that this is one of the main sources of national income and is responsible for achieving food security and local realities meets food needs, diversifies production and maximizes the added value of agricultural production.

He noted that Enara would work with Chint to implement the national project in coordination with the Ministry of Military Production.

Gabaly stated that the company’s projects include investments in the infrastructure and renewable energy sectors, noting that it has received a $ 200 million loan from several international finance and finance institutions since it was with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, African Development, Cooperate Bank and the World Bank.

Minister of State for Military Production, Mohammed Ahmed Morsi, said during the signing of the protocol with NOMP and Nasser Social Bank that the agreement aims to capitalize on the energy overcapacity in the units of the Ministry of Military Production and in subsidiaries to help the Implement national development and aid projects for various ministries and agencies in the country to ultimately serve the citizens.

He noted that the protocol aims to leverage the partnership between the NOMP and Enara as a consortium to implement and equip water wells to be powered by solar energy, through the military manufacturing companies that provide the necessary equipment for solar systems like solar supply panels and stabilizers.

Morsi added that Enara will be responsible for the designs, installations and supplies for the solar systems.

In a statement by the Ministry of Solidarity on its website on January 25, Morsi stated that the task of the consortium under this protocol is to provide small and medium-sized investors in the agricultural sector with an integrated technical and financial offer to invest in the use of solar energy in agriculture by operating water pumps with solar energy instead of diesel and other fuels.

He pointed out that the project aims to sell, supply, install and operate 1,000 wells to provide a source of electricity that is economically, environmentally and socially feasible.

Morsi went on to say that the program includes the provision of five different capacities for solar irrigation systems with the possibility of adapting the capacity to meet the diverse water needs of agricultural investors. Irrigation systems for solar energy would be funded as part of this project.

When asked about funding projects for young investors, Mohammad Ashmawy, chairman of the board of directors of Nasser Social Bank, told Al-Monitor that the bank would fund small and medium-sized projects for solar energy irrigation systems, provided the funding is paid to the consortium Belong to NOMP and Enara. With the financing, the consortium can implement the investors’ projects with regard to planning, delivery, installation and operating contracts for solar-powered irrigation systems.

Energy projects in Egypt have been given a high priority in recent years in terms of addressing the electricity generation deficit. In recent years, the government has been working to use natural resources to generate electrical energy, especially solar power, as many projects have opened in several regions of the country’s governorates.

In November 2020, the Egyptian Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker, said during the International Conference of the Institute for National Planning entitled “Energy and Sustainable Development” that Egyptian electricity production has doubled since 2014, and total electricity production by the At the end of 2019 to 28,000 megawatts (MW).

Shaker noted that Egypt is encouraging the private sector to get involved in renewable energy production, whether through solar or wind power generation projects.

He gave the example of the Benban Solar Complex, the largest solar energy project in the world, implemented in partnership with the private sector.

The complex, located 30 kilometers north of the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt, comprises 32 solar power plants with a production capacity of 1,465 MW, ie about 90% of the total production capacity of the Aswan Dam. The complex covers an area of ​​37 square kilometers, where the sun shines all year round. The $ 2.4 billion project is being carried out by 39 specialist companies.

Mohammad Saad el-Din, chairman of the energy committee of the Egyptian Industry Association, told Al-Monitor that Egypt’s plan for the coming period is to make the most of solar energy, especially given the large undeveloped areas in the country where it is located Projects could be implemented.

He said Egypt aims to achieve 20% of renewable energy in electricity consumption by 2030.

Saad el-Din stressed that solar energy is not linked to the price of oil, nor is it influenced by the emergence of tension or conflict in the region, making it a safe source of energy.

He stated that Egypt is consuming around 26 gigawatts (GW) per year and has a surplus of 6 to 8 GW. Interconnections with Saudi Arabia and Sudan are currently being built to invest this surplus.

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