Horus Solar Energy SAE

North Africa,Africa Infrastructure

The Nubian Suns projects comprise 13 solar power plants located in the Benban Solar Park, near Aswan in Egypt. These plants will add a 590 megawatt (MW) capacity to the park.

Horus Solar Energy SAE is one of these plants, with a 5oMW capacity.

The projects are funded by a syndicate of lenders led by the IFC.

When complete, Benban will be the largest solar power installation in the world with up to 1.65GW capacity and 32 solar plants.

Nubian Suns play a central part in round 2 of the Egypt Feed-In Tariff solar power programme which is introducing international investors and banks to Egypt at a crucial time for the country.

The Egyptian government launched this large-scale initiative in 2015 and has offered strong support for the Nubian Suns projects.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

In late 2017, we invested $15.8 million in Horus Solar Energy SAE as part of an initial commitment of $97 million and ultimate investment of $92 million into the Nubian Suns projects.

The project is part of a $653 million debt package, backed by a syndicate of nine international lenders: IFC, Africa Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Arab Bank (Bahrain), CDC, Europe Arab Bank, Finance in Motion, FinnFund, ICBC, and Austria’s OeEB.

Our financing will support the construction of nine solar power plants at the Benban Solar Park, contributing to 390MW of capacity.

Expected impact

Estimates suggest that 18 per cent of Egypt’s power capacity is inaccessible due to poor maintenance. In 2014 and 2015, the state diverted nearly all fuel to electricity generation to meet peak summer power demand supplying to household consumers at the expense of heavy industry. These power shortages severely limit the country’s economic potential.

Our investment will generate 390MW of solar power and support 3,000 jobs during the construction phase.

The project is located in Upper Egypt which suffers from the highest rates of unemployment and poverty in the country. It is expected to provide clean, cost-effective power to over 350,000 residential customers.

The Egyptian government foresees 20 per cent of its power production originating from renewable sources by 2022.

A large portion will be in the form of solar projects but wind is projected to play an increasing role over the next five years. The promotion of renewable energy will help to develop another local source of energy supply, reducing the country’s import fuel bill, as well as meeting increased demand.

Environmental and social aspects

CDC and the IFC have worked with the developer and other lenders to mitigate environmental and social (E&S) risks including health and safety, labour, and construction practices, as well as transport and traffic management.

This will help Egyptian regulators and the projects’ facilities team to build and deliver international best practice standards across the development of 41 co-located solar plants. CDC is financing nine of these plants.

Key facts


Since 2012, we’ve only invested in Africa and South Asia. Investments outside these regions are from our pre-2012 portfolio.

Africa, North Africa

We have seven priority sectors. However, we continue to invest outside these sectors, largely in the most challenging regions, as new investment supporting any sector helps to underpin the private sector, and create jobs and livelihoods for people.

Investment type

We provide capital in three broad ways: direct equity, debt, and intermediated equity (principally through investment funds).

Direct Debt
Start date

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October 2017

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