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Al-Mashat: Building on Existing Partnerships with SCATEC to Implement Strategic Projects Based on Multilateral Co-op


Sun 03 Dec 2023 | 05:29 PM
Rania Al-Mashat
Rania Al-Mashat
Nada Mustafa

Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, participated in the signing activities of a number of partnerships between government agencies represented by the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, the Suez Canal Economic Authority, and the Norwegian company SCATEC, with the participation of international financing institutions, including the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the British Finance Corporation, to implement 3 vital projects in light of the national efforts for green transformation.

First, the green methanol production project was signed in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which contributes to the production of up to 200 thousand tons of methanol to supply ships with green fuel. Second, the project to produce green ammonia in Damietta, which enhances carbon removal efforts and accelerates the pace of the green transition. Third, the project between the government and the Norwegian company SCATEC, with funding from the AfDB and the British International Investment (BII), to generate 1 GW of solar energy using energy storage solutions (BESS)-the first project of its kind in Egypt, and the largest of its kind in the region.

This came in the presence of Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway, Engineer Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mr. Terje Bielskog, CEO of the Norwegian company SCATEC ASA, and Mr. Kevin Kariuki, Vice President of the AfDB, and a representative of the BII, who delivered opening remarks, Engineer Walid Gamal El Din, Chairman of the General Authority of the Suez Canal Economic Zone,Mr. Tafawa Ethiopian, Vice President of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and Head of Risk Management and Legal Affairs, and Dr. Ahmed Mahina, Undersecretary of the Minister of Electricity.

In her opening speech during the signing activities, Al-Mashat confirmed that the new partnerships with the Norwegian company SCATEC come to enhance effective partnerships between the government and private sectors and development partners in strategic projects based on multilateral cooperation to stimulate the green transformation. H.E. also build on the already existing partnerships, as the company is Norwegian SCATEC is one of the companies that contributed to the implementation of the Benban Solar Energy Project, one of the largest solar energy clusters in the world, along with the first green hydrogen plant in the Suez Canal Economic Zone in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and many other partners.

H.E. explained the Egyptian government’s appreciation for the strategic and long-term partnership with the Norwegian company SCATEC, through which many vital investments and projects were implemented, pointing to the vital role of international financing institutions and development partners in strengthening these partnerships and pushing the transition to a green economy in the field of renewable energy and other sectors.

Al-Mashat also said that the transition to sustainable, low-carbon and fair energy systems, especially in vital sectors, is a very important process, and requires effective partnerships to achieve tangible results, in a world facing increasing challenges due to climate change, pointing out that accelerating and expanding the process of decarbonisation of strategic sectors are necessary to address the root causes of global warming. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, fossil fuels currently provide about 80% of global energy and 66% of electricity generation, and contribute to 60% of greenhouse gas emissions.

H.E. noted that the world has witnessed a noticeable increase in reliance on renewable energy sources compared to previous decades, and in 2022, the share of renewable energy sources in global energy supplies increased by about 8%. However, despite this progress, it is important to acknowledge that this growth is still insufficient.

In this regard, Al-Mashat stressed that it is necessary to accelerate measures towards low-carbon development paths, by deploying renewable energy capabilities, to implement the recommendations of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to increase the total installed capacity of renewable and green energy three times by 2030.

In another context, Al-Mashat pointed to the growing global interest in investing in energy storage technologies to accommodate the fluctuation of renewable energy sources, and to ensure a sustainable supply of electricity, especially in periods of high demand, as statistics from the IRENA indicate that there is a need to install a storage capacity of 359 GWs by 2030, stressing that the deployment of energy storage systems in Egypt is of great importance as it is in line with its development vision and expansion of the low-carbon development path, as well as achieving the SDGs and Integrated Energy Strategy, which set the percentage of renewable energy to 42% by 2030 instead of 2035-What the NWFE program is also working to strengthen.

The agreement signed between the government and SCATEC, which aims to generate 1 GW of solar energy using BESS energy storage solutions, is the first use of BESS energy storage technology in Egypt and is the largest project of its kind in the region- an ambitious project in close partnership between the government, the private sector, the AfDB, and the BII.

Al-Mashat pointed to the government's efforts through the energy pillar within the NWFE program, which aims to mobilize green investments and facilitate development financing for the transition to renewable energy in Egypt, and also integrates with efforts to expand green hydrogen in Egypt.

Rania Al-Mashat
Rania Al-Mashat