Arabian Cement Company (ACC) has signed an amendment to its 2019 contract with Amarenco SolarizEgypt (ASE) to establish a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) plant at its Suez facility.

The amendment to the agreement aligns with updated regulations recently issued by ‘EgyptERA’ the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency to encourage and support projects that use solar energy with the self-consumption system as Egypt prepares to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh in November.

The adjusted contract between ACC and ASE complies with the updated regulations limiting the total solar capacity contracted under the self-consumption system that is owned by any licensed authority or one of the distribution companies’ customers, and that is connected to the distribution networks to 30 MW with a maximum of 25 MW per one project.

Total solar energy

Now the total solar energy in ACC’s plant has reached a capacity of 20.6 MW after commissioning Phase 1 which has been in production since 2019 with capacity of 7,441 kWp which granted approximately 1,000 MW/month (MW/month), representing up to 3% of ACC’s overall electrical consumption.

ACC had previously dedicated 110,000 sq m to the plant in Phase 1 before allocating a new space for the additional phase expanding to 155,000 sq m to install the solar cells for Phase 2. The overall generated CO2 savings from Phase 2 is approximately 13,000 tonnes per year in addition to currently saving around 5,500 tonnes per year of CO2 emissions out of Phase 1.

Building on the new adjusted contract, construction is set to start in 12 weeks from the new contract’s signature for a forecasted period of 36 weeks. The actual commissioning and startup of operations is expected in September 2023.

First agreement

In 2018, ACC signed the first agreement with SolarizEgypt with investments worth EGP100 million ($4.2 million) to handle the construction and operation of the unit for the period of 25 years, under a BOOT (Build Own Operate Transfer) agreement. ACC targets saving significant amounts of the plant’s electricity expenses incrementally every year by planning to secure approximately 10% of its electrical power through its own solar plants by 2044.

“As part of our sustainable development strategy, we are continually assessing opportunities to develop Egypt’s cement industry with projects that integrate sustainable and environment-friendly solutions and renewable energy resources given their significant environmental, social impact and on the economy at large,” said Sergio Alcantarilla, Chief Executive Officer, ACC.

“In line with Egypt’s strategy towards expanding the use of clean energy, we see this a pioneering step in the cement industry in Egypt and we are proud to continue leading this revolutionary experience with our trusted partner, SolarizEgypt as we look forward to more fruitful collaborations in the future.”

“We are extremely proud to be a part of this significant project, especially in the wake of COP27 and Egypt’s Vision for 2030, through its tremendous efforts being put in energy transition to greener and more sustainable resources,” said Yaseen Abdel Ghaffar, Founder, and Managing Director of SolarizEgypt.

“ACC is paving the way as a leader in the Cement industry by executing its social responsibilities by meeting the UN SDGs. The confidence ACC has placed in us to proceed with Phase 2 with almost double the first phase in capacity is an honourable acknowledgement of the expertise of our team and business partners.”