Egypt’s Electricity & Renewable Energy Ministry has signed a contract with the National Bank of Egypt, as the agent for a number of local banks, for about £E3bn ($420m) of financing for South Helwan power plant and Assiut power plant, on 15 January 2015.

The ministry also signed a $337m contract with Italy’s Ansaldo Caldaie for the supply and operation of steam generators at South Helwan.

The 1,950MW South Helwan critical steam power plant is due to come online in 2018. The rest of the financing for the $1.64bn project has been secured from the World Bank ($585m), the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) ($194m), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) ($450m), the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) ($214m) and the Opec Fund for International Development (OFID) ($40m).

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Toyota Tsusho won the main contract for South Helwan’s three steam turbines of 650MW each in 2014.

The 650MW Assiut power plant is also due for completion in 2018, according to the ministry. It had already secured funding from OFID ($55m), IDB ($220m), AFESD ($187m) and KFAED ($105m) to meet its budget of $685m.

Engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts have yet to be tendered for the steam turbine plant. The ministry needs to move forward with power projects to cover its electricity generation shortfall, which has caused frequent power cuts.