Climate Opportunities & Partnerships

Middle East & Africa


Egypt to Build 21 Desalination Plants - Attractive Investors Package

Egypt plans to award desalination deals this year in this first $3 billion phase of the program

Mar 22, 2023 / 3 Min
Photo: Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

Egypt depends almost entirely on the Nile for fresh water, and faces rising water scarcity for its population of 104 million. Desalination plants are a highly effective mean to reduce water scarcity.


Egypt plans to award deals this year to build 21 water desalination plants in the first $3 billion phase of a program that will draw on cheap renewable energy, said the CEO of the country's sovereign fund Ayman Soliman.


The desalination program aims to generate 3.3 million cubic metres of water daily in the first phase, and eventually reach 8.8 million cubic metres daily at a cost of $8 billion.


Amid Egypt's challenging economic conditions, the sovereign fund is putting together an extremely attractive package for investors. There had been expressions of interest from more than 200 developers from at least 35 countries for the first phase, Soliman said.


Egypt, which recently hosted the COP27 U.N. climate talks and is trying to boost investment in renewables, also aims to start production at a series of proposed green hydrogen projects in 2025-2026.


At the climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, the government converted into framework agreements nine of 15 memoranda of understanding (MoU) for green hydrogen projects concentrated in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) that would produce millions of tonnes of hydrogen and ammonia.


At least another three or four MoUs were close to being converted, and more MoUs were planned, with cheap renewable costs and the scale of the potential fuel export market towards Europe making Egypt competitive, Soliman said.


Source: Reuters, GWI