The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved up to US$210m in debt financing for more than ten solar power projects in Egypt.
The projects are the first in Africa for the Beijing-based bank, which was established by China as an alternative source of development funding for building roads, power plants and other infrastructure across Asia.
The AIIB said on Tuesday that the funding would go to 11 greenfield solar power plants, which together constitute an aggregate capacity of 490MW.
The plants would allow Egypt to reduce its dependency on gas and fuel in terms of electricity generation, cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than half a million tonnes of CO2 per year, and help the country meet its commitments to the Paris climate agreement.
The solar power projects would also increase Egypt’s generation capacity, so it can export energy during peak hours and improve its connectivity in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa, the AIIB said.
“Investing in clean, renewable energy is a big part of our strategy to promote a sustainable and low-carbon future for Asia,” said AIIB Vice President and Chief Investment Officer D.J. Pandian.
“We are supporting this project because it contributes to Egypt’s renewable energy capacity and it will help position the country as a regional energy hub, which will have economic benefits for the entire region,” he continued.
The projects will be co-financed by the AIIB and the International Financial Corporation, and are attracting additional lenders from the private sector and bilateral financial institutions, the bank said.
Since opening for business in January 2016, the AIIB has approved US$3.04bn in loans to 28 projects in countries such as Azerbaijan, India and Pakistan.
In its second annual meeting in June, the bank increhttp://cairoherald.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpased its membership to 80 countries, including the African nations of Egypt, Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Africa and Sudan.
It also adopted its first energy strategy, which prioritises investment in renewable energy, such as wind, solar and hydropower, and projects that enhance energy efficiency.
China is the largest stakeholder in the bank, followed by India, Russia, Germany and South Korea.