Egypt Independent

Egyptian-Dutch company seeks solar panel construction

An Egyptian-Dutch company submitted a request to the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) today, in which it petitioned for installation of a solar panel production plant at the Suez Bay's industrial zone. The factory will rely on silica, common in Sinai soil, for manufacturing.

The project will be the first of its kind in Egypt. Solar panels are typically imported.

Amr Asal, the head of IDA, said project investment will top off at LE2.5 billion. The operation, according to Asal, will require 49 megawatts of electricity. That amount, which requires approval from the Supreme Council for Energy, can fuel two cement plants.

Asal said the project was initially designed to produce 3000 tonnes of poly silicon, the primary material used for solar panel construction. The IDA, taking into consideration its recent halt on mining projects that produce poly silicon intermediate substances, asked the firm to turn a part of this amount into panels able to generate 50 megawatts of energy.

In order to safeguard rising demand, the agency mandated local market priority for the electricity generated.

Asal said the project will, therefore, provide Egypt with part of its solar-dependent electricity. The undertaking, according to Asal, will also secure a new cost-effective source of energy.

Experts say Egypt is rich with the best sorts of silicon, the element used in solar energy production. Statistics claim Egypt enjoys 325 days of sun a year. With this amount of sunlight, 2000 kilowatts can be produced every hour throughout the year.

The Egyptian government plans to turn solar energy into a source of 8 percent of its electricity by 2020.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.