Africa-focused, Norwegian renewable energy and investment company, Empower New Energy, recently signed an investment agreement with Engazaat Egypt, a leading Egyptian solar-water developer to solarize desalinated water supply for Egyptian farmers.
The agreement will see Empower New Energy provide equity financing for a 2.2MWp ground mounted solar power plant that will supply electricity to the desalination and storage facilities, located in the Mohgra Oasis in Northern Egypt.
Signed at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Cairo, on the 10th of October 2022, the agreement is a key element in the partners’ preparation for the climate summit COP 27 taking place in Sharm El Sheikh in November this year, where the topic; “Water, Energy, Food” will be high on the agenda.
“The project demonstrates the multilateral will to alleviate poverty and hunger for more than 25,000 small farmers in one of the most water sensitive regions in the world. They no longer need to go through the technical hurdles of finance, implementation, operation and maintenance of sophisticated clean energy and water utilities; they will only pay for what they consume on Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) bases,” said Engazaat’s CEO, Muhammad El Demerdash.
“We have worked closely with our international partners to mitigate the associated risks, create a circular and agronomically feasible investment structure. In the past two years, we have raised more than USD 17 millions of local and foreign direct investments in solar/water developments. We also foresee a portfolio of projects that is worth more than USD 100 million in Egypt, Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa” he added.
Project to enable Egyptian farmers export to new markets
By focusing on “solar for water” development, the investment enables small and medium sized Egyptian farmers to export their organic produce locally and to European markets. The plant will produce 4.4GWh of clean electricity yearly and save more than 1,600 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
To enable 24 x 7 “water-as-a-service” for small farmers, the solar power plant will integrate with the long duration thermal energy storage system developed by the Swedish company Azelio as well as the desalination systems provided by the French company Mascara.
“Empower New Energy is honoured to partner with Engazaat in developing this solar-for-water micro-grid solution. We believe this partnership offers a great potential for supplying local farmers with desalinated water and supplied with 24/7 solar energy across Egypt and many countries in Africa.” stated Terje Osmundsen, CEO of Empower New Energy.
Norway’s Ambassador to Egypt, H.E. Ms. Hilde Klemetsdal, added; “I’m honoured to witness the signing of this agreement between two leading companies. Norway’s Empower New Energy and Engazaat Egypt, to cooperate on the sustainable transformation of deserts into arable lands. A project that is 100% powered by clean energy simultaneously achieves sustainable agriculture and clean energy transition. The project does not just reduce emissions, it unlocks productive uses for marginalized lands and the potential of small farmers in facing the challenges of food security and climate change.”