Saudi and Chinese businesses join forces on Egyptian solar projects

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Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power has awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract to China's Chint Group for three solar photovoltaic power plants in southern Egypt.

ACWA Power, which develops both power and water desalination projects, said that the total investment value of the projects was $190 million, and that they would have a total capacity of 165.5 megawatts. The contract for the deal was signed Tuesday at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

ACWA Power President and CEO Paddy Padmanathan said the deal represented the company's first investment in Egypt.

The projects' construction will begin in the first quarter of 2018, with operations slated to commence in the fourth quarter. ACWA Power said that the facilities would power 80,000 homes and save 156,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Chint Solar CEO Chuan Lu described Egypt as a "growing market where significant change is happening in the renewables industry."

China seems to be forging an ever-closer relationship with renewable energy in Egypt. Last September, for example, the Beijing-headquartered Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank announced as much as $210 million in debt financing in order to "tap" the renewable energy potential of the country.