Egypt’s New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) has invited expressions of interest from consultants to conduct a study in preparation for a solar power facility at Kom Ombo.

The environmental and social impact assessment will be part of the initial stages for a 100MW concentrated solar power facility at a location some 65 kilometres north of Aswan, along the River Nile, in Upper Egypt.

The study will focus on ensuring that the project complies with national environmental, social and legal requirements, as well as those of international organisations.

The African Development Bank has issued a grant for the project through its Clean Technology Fund. Part of this grant will be used to fund the study.

Germany’s Lahmeyer has already carried out a feasibility study at the site. NREA intends to invite bids to build the project in February 2012, with bids to be submitted during the third quarter of 2012 and an award by the end of 2012.

Germany’s kfW, the African Development Bank and Washington’s World Bank have committed to providing support for the project, along with the European Investment Bank (EIB) as a lender.

The project is expected to cost about $525m in total. According to the preliminary funding plan, the borrower will supply $53m in equity, the IBRD will provide $170m, African Development Bank $170m and the Clean Technology Fund about $100m. The EU-National Indicative programme (NIP) will provide a $32m grant for the project.

The solar facility was originally intended to come online in 2014, but the project has encountered delays, most recently as a result of the uprising that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak.