Only two developers pull out of Egypt renewables scheme

17 July 2016

Authorities claim 58 developers still involved

Only two of 39 solar developers have officially pulled out of Egypt’s feed-in tariff scheme, according to a statement from the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC).

A further 21 developers are on a waiting list and are planning projects in Zafarana, West Nile and other private sites.

However, EEHC did not specify how many developers are able to carry out their projects in the first round, which has a deadline for financial close in October 2016.

The first-round power purchase agreements (PPAs) do not include an option for international arbitration or any guarantees on currency convertability. This led several development banks, including the Washington-based International Finance Corporation, to pull out of financing these projects.

MEED has identified around ten developers which have managed to secure local sources of finance, despite the higher costs.

“Given the risk allocation, the first round will now be predominantly local and regional developers,” says a lawyer involved in the scheme. “They may have a legacy business so they can take a long-term view.”

Some developers who were originally relying on development bank finance have managed to line up local banks to replace it at short notice.

Other developers are still studying finance options, given the much higher cost of borrowing from Egyptian banks, to see if their projects can be viable.

A large number are expected to delay in hope of more favourable terms for the second round of the feed-in tariff scheme, which would allow development banks to participate. However, the second-round tariff is expected to be lower.

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