British International Investment

Phoenix Power SAE

North AfricaInfrastructure

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.

Phoenix Power 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

Description of the investment.

In late 2017, we invested $11.6 million in the Phoenix Power plant 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

Expected impact of investments made between 2012 and 2018. From 2019 onwards, we have published a fuller set of impact information, assessing each investment against six dimensions of 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.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    March 2024
    Project number

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    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    North Africa

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.


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    October 2017
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