Reading Time: 4 minutes
SolarQuarter Africa magazine got an exclusive opportunity to interview Yazan Faouri – CEO MENA, Amarenco Group and learn about the company’s presence and services offered in Africa. He spoke about how the solar industry dynamics have changed post-Covid, the policy environment of the region, and the company’s recent JV with Solarize.
Please brief our readers about Amarenco’s presence in Africa along with the service you provide.
Amarenco Group is a European independent power producer with operations in more than 16 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Asia Pacific. We have around 1GW of Solar assets operational And under construction with half a billion euros invested to date. We target to invest
In the North African market, we are interested in providing commercial and industrial customers with cheaper and decarbonized electricity through private Power Purchase Agreements.
Amarenco has recently entered into a JV with Solarize. Please tell us more about it.
Amarenco is expanding its operations globally; Solarize is already well-established and one of the market leaders in its segment in Egypt. The synergies will allow the Joint venture to consolidate its position within the industry. This definitive agreement between both parties agrees that Amarenco shall acquire 74% of SolarizEgypt’s portfolio of Solar projects and co-develop 300MW of assets at an estimated budget of 4 billion Egyptian Pounds (255MUSD) in the next four years.
The Egyptian Energy market is one of the largest markets in Africa and the MENA region, with ambitious targets for a transition towards renewables and decarbonization. We at Amarenco are committed to investing heavily in the Egyptian market to provide the local community with cleaner, sustainable, and cheaper sources of electricity.
How have the dynamics changed for the Solar market in Africa after the Covid crisis.
The year 2020 was to mark the beginning of a “decade of delivery” for the global renewable energy transition. The majority of new power generation capacity is in the form of renewable energy. More than160 countries have made renewable energy and energy decarbonization commitments. There has been substantial investment in energy storage and a considerable increase in private sector support. All of these are essential elements in a successful transition.
In Africa, private and public sectors will need a new form of energy to combat the economic consequences of the covid crisis. Further development of regulations will allow foreign direct investments in Africa. that will support the private sector to unlock a new form of cleaner, sustainable, and cheaper electricity and offer great potential in empowering local communities.
Please give us a brief overview of the policy environment of the African solar market.
Renewables can play a transformative role in the African energy mix. However, Africa’s policy environment cannot be considered in its globality. The regulations in some countries are much more mature than in others. Nonetheless, we see that each country is actively looking to deploy solar. DFI also has a strong interest in supporting and facilitating solar projects implementation.
Creating an overall enabling environment for renewables in Africa requires finding the right mix of policies and incentives and multi-stakeholder collaboration at country and regional levels.
In-depth consultation with key stakeholders is essential. For instance, Egypt introduced a merger fee applicable to renewable energy projects earlier this year, which is significantly impacting the sector and slowing renewables development.
Despite not being a positive signal for foreign investors into renewables, we remain confident in the ability of the Egyptian energy sector regulators to support the renewable industry and show the example ahead of COP27.
Which have been some major projects executed by Amarenco in 2021 in Africa? What projects are in the pipeline?
We have completed several C&I projects for large clients in Egypt, such as Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Arabian Cement Company, and Gouna. Our pipeline includes further C&I and utility projects in Egypt and Morocco.