On 23 December, in the town of Kuraymat, located 100 kilometers south off Cairo (Egypt), began operating the first solar thermal plant in the country.

The hybrid solar thermal power plant built in Kuraymat was presented at the international level and was attended by Egyptian authorities. During the inauguration, in the auditorium, the Egyptian workers had gathered to see how the 2,000 parabolic trough solar field is automatically guided to the position of the sun and concentrate sunlight on the absorber tube.

The solar thermal power plant Kuraymat has a total capacity of 150 megawatts, which is generated from the hybridization of solar radiation and gas. “The hybrid plant can operate without interruption, so that the supply of electricity is produced 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Matthias Strub, Technical Project Manager at Flagsol.

The power Kuraymat includes more than 2,400 kWh of direct sunlight per square meter of parabolic trough each year. The solar field, with an area of 130,000 m², was built and launched in collaboration with the Egyptian company Orascom Construction Industries, generating a number of local jobs. Total cost, 30% went to the realization of the solar field, which has received a grant from the Global Environment Fund (GEF).

“This is the first plant of its kind in Egypt, which becomes an important reference for future investments,” said Blamberg Oliver, a member of the Executive Board of Solar Millennium, which emphasized the importance of the project: “With Kuraymat”- he said – “we have shown that electricity from the deserts of North Africa is not a dream for the future. Our technology is applied in Egypt DESERTEC prove that an idea can become reality, like the successful cooperation between Europe and Africa in the field of renewable energy. ”

The first facility of its kind in Egypt shows that more countries outside Europe are committed to a sustainable energy supply. Thanks to its high radiation levels, the MENA region (Mediterranean and North Africa) is suitable for solar thermal power plants and is now clearly becoming a very important area. Apart from Egypt, there is also a hybrid power plant operating in Morocco and in the final stages of construction, one in Algeria, and other projects at various stages in these countries in the same geographical region in turn built by Abengoa Solar. Thus, the first-OPEC countries are committed to this technology, which allows solar energy to provide large quantities and cheaply, clean and planned.

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