Egypt is doing everything it can to address the looming water shortage. The country is seeking partners to invest in a $ 2.5 billion initiative to build more than a dozen desalination plants with renewable energy by 2025.
The 17 planned new plants would run on solar energy and other green sources, and each of them will be built, owned, and operated by Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund in partnership with a group of local and foreign investors, According to the fund’s chief executive, Ayman Soliman, Egypt wants to build a sustainable technology base to control its destiny when it comes to water safety.
The endowment fund aims to take a minority stake in all plants together with the winning bidders ”.
The most populous nation in the Arab world relies on the Nile River for almost all of its fresh water and faces a huge supply deficit that officials fear will worsen with a gigantic hydroelectric dam that Ethiopia is filling up on the main tributary.
Population growth and climate change have also made Egypt vulnerable to water scarcity. The world needs to spend $ 6.7 trillion on water infrastructure by 2030, according to the United Nations, which says that around 1.2 billion people already live in areas of physical scarcity.
Egypt, which needs about 114 billion cubic meters of water each year to serve its more than 100 million inhabitants, receives only half that amount from natural sources, according to the Irrigation Ministry. Address the deficit through steps that include recycling agricultural and groundwater wastewater and importing additional food rather than irrigating more crops.
The 17 plants, which are intended to produce a combined 2.8 million cubic meters of desalinated water per day, are part of a larger plan to add 6.4 million cubic meters of daily capacity by 2050, Soliman said.
The housing, planning, finance, and electricity ministries are all involved, and the government will be the buyer of the desalinated water at “competitive rates.”
However, Egypt operated 76 desalination plants capable of producing almost 832,000 cubic meters a day in May, according to the state news website Ahram Online Egypt’s first sovereign wealth fund, which was established in 2018, is modeled after initiatives in Malaysia and India. The fund aims to partner with the private sector and generate additional wealth from underutilized state assets that it plans to manage.