Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

International Cooperation Ministry, EBRD Discuss Prospects for Private Investment in NWFE Program

Thu 16 May 2024 | 02:49 PM
Yara Sameh

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), stressed that climate action is a top priority for countries, especially in the current period, as well as for multilateral development banks, noting the importance of countries seeking to provide climate projects that are bankable and attractive for investments to achieve partnerships between development partners, the private sector, and relevant parties enable the effective implementation of these projects.

This came during a session organized by the Ministry of International Cooperation and the EBRD, on the prospects for private investment in the “NWFE” program, as part of the bank’s annual meetings in Armenia, to review the model of national platforms in Egypt and the launch of the “NWFE” program, which works to encourage climate investments.

This included the participation of Mr. Amr Allam, Chairman of Hassan Allam Holding Company, and Mr. Harry Boyd Carpenter, Executive Director of Climate Strategies at the European Bank, the session was moderated by Dr. Heike Harmgart, Regional Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region at the Bank.

The session witnessed applause from the participants for the “NWFE” program as a model for national platforms in the field of climate action, and its role in providing soft financing and technical support to the private sector to implement the projects included in the program.

The Minister of International Cooperation indicated that Egypt worked to launch the country platform for the “NWFE” program based on the experiences accumulated with multilateral development banks and international institutions in Egypt, as well as the structural reforms that were launched beginning in 2014, which contributed to the implementation of ambitious projects, on top of which is the Benban Solar Energy Complex.

H.E. noted that the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow was a turning point regarding global interest in climate action, and drew attention to national platforms and their importance in advancing climate action, adding that Egypt developed the concept of national platforms proposed by the G7 group, to support the countries that pollute the most to enhance climate action, and expanded to launch an innovative platform that includes a group of mitigation and adaptation projects to encourage climate investments under the umbrella of the National Climate Change Strategy.

Al-Mashat said that the energy axis aims to stop the operation of 12 thermal power plants with a capacity of 5 gigawatts, and to stimulate investments worth $10 billion to launch renewable energy projects with a capacity of 10 gigawatts during the period from 2023 to 2028, in close partnership with the local and foreign private sector, to support Egypt's ambition is to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 42% of the energy mix by 2030 instead of 2035, with the active participation of the private sector.

The Minister of International Cooperation stated that the success of national platforms depends on the ability of countries to create a model that brings together relevant entities and includes executable and financing projects that attract investments, in addition to enhancing joint cooperation between various parties in order to provide concessional development financing and mixed financing, encouraging the private sector, grants and debt swaps, explaining that what Egypt has done in this context is based on three clear principles: commitment, clarity, and credibility.

H.E. stressed the concept of national ownership in implementing these platforms to align the projects’ objectives with the priorities set by countries, enabling them to achieve a just transition towards a green economy.

In the same context, the Minister of International Cooperation stressed the need for overall stability and moving forward in implementing economic and structural reforms to achieve progress in targeted development projects, noting the successive measures taken by the government over the past two months to implement economic and structural reforms that enhance macroeconomic stability and stimulate the investment environment in Egypt by empowering the private sector.

The Ministry of International Cooperation had issued the first follow-up report on the country platform for the “NWFE” program last November, which revealed that the cooperation and coordination efforts that took place at the national and international levels during the first year of the “NWFE” program resulted in the provision of funds to the private sector worth $2 billion. The report explained that renewable energy projects with a capacity of 3.7 gigawatts (out of 10 gigawatts) were contracted between the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy and private sector companies (such as ACWA Power/Masdar/Al Nowais/Orascom/and others).

During the COP27 climate conference, a partnership agreement on the energy pillar was signed with the EBRD (the main development partner for implementing energy pillar projects), the European Investment Bank, the French Development Agency, the African Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the United Kingdom, and Denmark, and the Netherlands.