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Reuters Sustainable Business May 5, 2019, reported that Egypt expects giant solar park to be fully operational in 2019. This piece of news went viral throughout the MENA region. Would Egypt’s giant solar park operational in 2019 be a new trend?

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Boats sail in the Nile river in Aswan on the road to the touristic Nubia, south of Egypt, October 1, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany.

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt expects the 1.6-gigawatt solar park it is building in the south of the country to be operating at full capacity in 2019, the investment ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The $2 billion project, set to be the world’s largest solar installation, has been partly funded by the World Bank, which invested $653 million through the International Finance Corporation.

Some parts of the park are already operating on a small scale, while other areas are still undergoing testing.

Egypt aims to meet 20 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2022 and up to 40 per cent by 2035. Renewable energy currently covers only about 3 per cent of the country’s needs.

“Egypt’s energy sector reforms have opened a wider door for private sector investments,” World Bank President David Malpass said during his visit to the site alongside Egypt’s Investment Minister Sahar Nasr.

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Egypt’s Investment Minister Sahar Nasr

Egypt is on a drive to lure back investors who fled following the 2011 uprising with a slew of economic reforms and incentives the government hopes will draw fresh capital and kickstart growth.

Most of the foreign direct investment Egypt attracts goes toward its energy sector.

Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Yousef Saba and Jan Harvey.

Further reading on this project can be found here; it is the World’s Largest Solar Park Project. Alcazar Energy’s 64 MW Solar PV plant (Picture above) is the first of thirty projects in the Benban Solar Park to complete construction and enter commercial operation. Benban will be the largest solar power installation in the world with up to 1.5 GW capacity located in Aswan, Egypt.

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