Helwan South Power Plant Project in Egypt receives major funding commitments, to boost regional energy supplies


7 November 2013 – Washington, DC, USA – The World Bank and Egypt have signed an agreement to finance the Helwan South Power Plant Project, a gas-fired power plant that will help deliver a more reliable supply of electricity across the country. The agreement was signed on 5 November by Ziad Bahaa El-Din, Egypt’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Cooperation; and Inger Andersen, World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa region.

“The Project plays a major role in boosting confidence and enhancing much needed public investments in the sector during this critical period for Egypt,” said Bahaa El-Din (pictured). “It will also contribute to improving service delivery and promoting economic development.”

131114-pmwj17-egypt-helwan-IMAGEThe World Bank is an important development partner in Egypt’s energy sector which provides technical assistance and project financing.  The Project is part of a broader program which aims to help the country address energy policy issues and meet the growing electricity demand in a sustainable manner.

“The Project is highly relevant and timely to support the Egyptian people during this period of political and economic transition,” said Inger Andersen. “It will contribute 10 percent of the new generation capacity to be added by 2018 which is vital for Egypt’s economy.”

The project will provide short-term opportunities and long-term development needs. Around 4,000 jobs will be created, 75 percent during construction and the rest for plant operation and maintenance. In the broader context, Helwan South will help create indirect employment opportunities and boost economic growth. The additional electricity generated by Helwan South will be distributed to grid-connected consumers in all sectors including agriculture.  Consumers in rural areas will also have better quality of electricity supply to support economic and social activities.

The World Bank has deepened its partnerships through this project with several regional and international players to finance Helwan South Power Project including: the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Islamic Development Bank, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

Furthermore, the Deauville Partnership and the European Union provided funding for the Project’s complementary technical assistance and advisory services in priority areas which include sector governance, energy pricing and subsidies reforms as well as revamping social safety net systems, attracting private investment, and advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy. These cover a range of activities from upstream policy advice to transaction services that are designed to enhance the sustainability of the power sector and this project.

On September 29, 2013, Mr Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), signed a US$70 million public sector loan agreement for the South Helwan Power Plant Project. HE Dr Ziad Bahaa El-Din, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Cooperation, co-signed the agreement. The loan signature ceremony took place in Cairo, Egypt, in the presence of the interim Egyptian Prime Minister, HE Hazem el-Beblawi, the Minister of Electricity and Energy, HE Ahmed Mostafa Emam Shaaban, and other high ranking officials.

Under the project, the South Helwan Power Plant will be expanded, which will, in turn, benefit households, agricultural workers, businesses and industries, as well as help create jobs and boost the economy.

Accompanying the Director-General was Mr Fuad Albassam, ADG, Public Sector Operations, and Mr Khaled Al-Zayer, Senior Public Sector Operations Officer.

OFID’s support to Egypt dates back to the institution’s inception in 1976. In addition to the loan agreement signed in Cairo, other approvals aimed at helping strengthen Egypt’s energy sector total over US$200 million and helped fund the construction, expansion and upgrading of power plants situated across the country.

Other OFID-supported public sector projects covered the agriculture, education, health and national development bank sectors, as well as those of a multi-sectoral nature. Balance of payments support has also been provided. Since 2001, OFID has approved 14 private sector and trade finance operations totaling over US$354 million in support of Egypt’s financial, health, agriculture, industrial and energy sectors. The majority, US$250 million, financed energy projects; mainly to import crude oil and refined petroleum products.

The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Since 1947, the World Bank has provided financing for more than 11,000 projects in over 100 countries.  For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org. To learn more about World Bank projects, visit http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/PROJECTS/0,,contentMDK:21790401~menuPK:5119395~pagePK:41367~piPK:51533~theSitePK:40941,00.html

Sources: The World Bank and OPEC Fund for International Development