Egypt will produce 280 megawatts of solar power under a five-year development plan, according to Electricity and Energy Minister Hassan Yunis.

The Supreme Council of Energy has already approved the ministry’s plans to expand projects that depend on harnessing solar energy, he said.

The projects included in the 2012/20117 plan are connected with the Kom Umbo and Hurgada solar power stations and the Koraymat power plant.

Japan is already helping Egypt in carrying out feasibility studies for the Hurghada station whose capacity is expected to stand at 20 MW.

International financing institutions have promised Egypt 440 million dollars to assist in building the 100 MW-Kom Umbo station in Aswan, the minister said, noting that the project’s entire cost is estimated at four billion pounds.

Pilot operations are under way at Koryamat solar/thermal plant, he said, pointing out that the project will be ready to go into commercial operation by mid-June.

Investments at the Solar Thermal Project – Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Power Plant (ISCC) in Koraymat, about 90 kilometers south of Cairo on the eastern side of the River Nile are estimated at two billion pounds.

The plant, the fourth of its kind in the world, comprises two gas turbines of about 40 MW each. The expected overall capacity of the environment-friendly project is 140 MW.