The plant is an ISCC (Integrated Solar Combined Cycle) facility, which combines solar energy with a combined cycle gas plant, thus saving fuel and increasing the plant’s overall output.

The culmination of a contract worth 150 million euros awarded in 2007 by the Egyptian government through the NREA. The electricity generating plant, located 95 kilometres south of Cairo, will supply enough power for 200,000 people while saving around 16,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere each year.

Iberdrola Engineering has just started up the Kuraymat power plant in Egypt, with a total capacity of 150 megawatts (MW). This facility is one of the first of its kind in the world, in that it incorporates technology that combines the use of gas and solar energy, thus helping to reduce CO2 emissions and improve the plant’s overall output.

The Egyptian government, working through the New Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) awarded the Company the “turnkey” contract to build this hybrid combined cycle plant, worth 150 million euros, back in September 2007, following an international public tendering process.

The new electricity generating plant, which has now been started up by Iberdrola Engineering and Construction’s subsidiary in Egypt, is located 95 kilometres south of Cairo, and will have the capacity to supply power to around 200,000 people while at the same time saving the emission of around 16,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.

In addition, the use of solar energy in the overall power production process at the Kuraymat plant, on which around 1,000 people have worked over the last three years, will result in a saving of 5,000 tonnes of natural gas every year.

The Egyptian plant has been built in a flat and almost uninhabited area in the middle of the desert, very close to the River Nile. The area is equipped with gas pipelines and other necessary network infrastructure, and has therefore become a strategically important region for the generation and distribution of electricity in Egypt. The plan is for the area to become a test bed for the future mass exploitation of abundant solar resources, not just in Egypt but throughout the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The ISCC (Integrated Solar Combined Cycle) type facility built by Iberdrola Engineering is designed to work in two different operational modes, in order to increase efficiency: during the night it operates as a conventional natural gas combined cycle plant, while during the day it operates a normal cycle but with the added energy provided by the sun.

On one side, the Kuraymat plant is fitted with a General Electric model 6FA gas turbine and a Siemens model SST900 steam turbine, while on the other it has a solar field covering 130,800 m2, with 160 parabolic cylinder CSP collectors and 1,900 m2 of mirrors.

This Iberdrola subsidiary is one of Spain’s leading engineering companies in the electrical energy sector, and the fourth in the world based on foreign earnings. At present it is working on projects in 34 countries in Europe, America, Africa and the Middle East, with a particular focus on conventional electricity generation (at both combined cycle plants and nuclear facilities), renewable energies and electricity transmission infrastructure.

The Company employs more than 2,400 people, and it has a project portfolio worth more than 2.2 billion euros. This year it has become Europe’s leading engineering company in the energy sector in terms of the excellence of its management processes and the organisation of its skills base, achieving level +400 in the EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) model.