The Aswan Solar Power Park is a national project aimed at increasing Egypt’s electricity generating capacity, advancing Egypt’s solar power sector, and developing the upper Egyptian region. It is a 37km2 project located 50km north of Aswan on the West Bank of the Nile, 12km away from the town of Benban.
When completed it will be the world’s largest solar power park, which will be built and operated in line with good international industry practices around environmental, health and safety and social matters. Additionally, the Project will contribute to the production of clean, ‘green’ energy and to a reduction of CO2 emissions that will aid Egypt in combating climate change.
The New and Renewable Energy Authority - NREA, which is an agency under the Ministry of Electricity, owns the Project and the land it is situated on. The Project has been conceived in the framework of the Egyptian government's feed-in tariff programme aimed at stimulating private investment in over 4 GW of wind and solar power (the "FiT Scheme"). This scheme aims to support Egypt to move to a more environmentally sustainable and diverse electricity sector by exploiting the country's vast renewable energy potential.
Several Egyptian and international investment companies have procured licenses to invest and build projects within the Authority’s land and to sell electricity back to the State under a long-term agreement. The overall facility management of the Project is carried out by Health and Safety Home for Investment since November 24, 2020, which is managing the logistical, environmental, security, and health & safety aspects of the Project, as well as the relations with neighbouring communities.
The core stakeholders in the Project are the Egyptian government, Egyptian and international businesses, and international financial institutions:
- New & Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) - the agency responsible the development of the renewable energy sector in Egypt and for availing land plots to Developers through usufruct.
- Benban Developers’ Association (BDA) - the association that represents the solar power companies, or the “Developers” on site;
- International Lenders – such as IFC, EBRD, CDC, Proparco, AIIB and several others, who have provided financing for the Project with environmental and social conditions attached.
The Project will need to meet Egyptian legislative and regulatory requirements, as well as international standards related to labour rights, working conditions, environment, health & safety, security, and community relations. More specifically, these mean complying with the requirements of IFC’s Environmental and Social Performance Standards and EBRD’s Performance Requirements.
These standards can be found at:
The Solar Power Park is divided into plots that are built and operated by individual solar power companies, both Egyptian and foreign. The overall facility management of the Park has been awarded to Health and Safety Home for Investment since November 24, 2020 to manage the logistical, environmental, security, and health & safety aspects of the Project, as well as community relations.
Construction is expected to last for 24 months, starting October 2017, although some individuals Developers had already started construction in January 2017 (Phase 1) and aim to end by December 2017. Once operational, the Park will continue generating electricity for 25 years.
Realizing a Project of this size is a complex process. Many different studies are required, technical, financial, environmental, social, etc. The process also involves many different parties, e.g. solar power and construction companies, government agencies, banks, etc. You may have noticed various representatives of the Project in the region in preparation for works to start. Of course the Project is committed to informing and consulting local communities. This is typically done well in advance of the actual works starting in order to build neighbourly relations and to understand your views and concerns.
Altogether the project requires approximately 8,000 workers at the peak of its construction phase. These will mostly be electricians, steel fitters and general labour but also security guards, cleaning staff, catering stewards, drivers for forklifts and construction machinery and administrative staff such as accountants, secretaries and more. Most of these jobs will be available during the construction period only. After construction is complete activity will reduce substantially and there will only be a need for a few hundred staff, such as operations and maintenance electricians and engineers, security guards and cleaning staff, to maintain the solar panels.
You can apply at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also an employment office at the Project office in Raya Mall in Aswan, where you can perform a short interview with an employment officer, register your information and be added to a database of job seekers. When a vacancy becomes available you will be considered for it. Please note that to work on site you need to produce a medical test from [LABORATORY NAME] that is not older than 2 months and covers a chest x-ray, as well as blood tests for [___ specify ____].
Please note that there will be NO ‘hiring-at-the-gate’ of the Beban Solar Park, or any construction front, for security reasons, so you will have to go through one of the above-mentioned channels.
The operation and maintenance companies working on site in addition to the facility management company, Health and Safety Home for Investment will provide a variety of goods and services. These include rent of equipment, mobile cranes, water and wastewater trucks, rubbish dump trucks, tractors, generators, tower floodlights, manpower buses, graders and loaders. The worker camps will require large numbers of low cost beds, tables, mattresses, chairs, Kilim rugs, PVC water tanks, rubbish bins, waste skips, plates and cups. The project needs professional laundry services as well as on-site pharmacy all of which we are looking to source locally.
Yes. Preference is given to hiring workers from Benban and the neighbouring villages, as well as contracting from local businesses seeking to sell goods and services to the Project. The Project employs a non-discrimination policy, which means that jobs and supplier opportunities will be awarded purely on the basis of skills, and experience. Furthermore, suppliers will need to meet the Project requirements, including international standards related to working conditions, environment, health & safety, security, and community relations. So, for example workers will not be paid a preferential salary or given special benefits over workers from other areas, and local businesses will have to maintain competitive prices and terms in order to win business with the Project. The majority of jobs offered will be of a temporary nature, i.e. throughout the construction phase.
The Project intends to offer on-the-job skills training for workers and capacity building for suppliers in order to make up for any arears in skills and experience. However, in case the construction companies cannot find adequate numbers of skilled workers or businesses to execute the work per the requirements and standards of the Project, they can solicit workers, goods and services from outside the Aswan area on competitive bidding.
Yes. In fact, the Project employs a strict non-discrimination policy and encourages women to apply for jobs. If culturally required, the Project will provide separate facilities for women and also offers a dedicated ‘woman-confidante’ to address women-specific concerns and grievances. Furthermore, woman-owned businesses are encouraged to seek supplier opportunities with the Project.
The nature of solar power construction projects itself is safer than many other construction projects. There is less work at height, fewer confined spaces and less overhead crane lifting. Of course, all construction activities present work related risks, but the Ministry of Electricity holds all contractors working on site responsible for delivering the highest international standards in terms of working conditions, occupational safety and health and sound environmental management.
However, should any incident/accident or other any emergency happen the individual construction companies, and site management company have put in place measures and emergency services (first aid, medical clinics, ambulances, etc.) to treat staff on site or transfer them to a nearby hospital.
The Project will pay special care and attention to avoiding or minimizing construction-related nuisances for local communities. For example, dust and noise will be reduced according to best industry practice. Also, the expected increase in traffic on the highway - due to transport of equipment and project staff will be managed and regulated to minimise impacts.
For example, truck and bus drivers will go through a ‘safe driver’ program, the Project will provide regular information updates on expected changes in the traffic situation, and it will carry out traffic safety campaigns among the local communities. Still, road users and communities should expect a significant increase in heavy traffic and reduced traffic speeds, and will need to exercise greater care.
Some contractors will be housing their staff in the villages surrounding the Project or in Aswan proper. There will also be one or several larger worker camps near the Project with decent and clean accommodation standards, 3 meals daily, recreation facilities and bus services to and from the site. All accommodation related to the Project will need to meet the requirements of EBRD / IFC’s Workers’ Accommodation Standards.
The facility management company is studying possible impacts on local communities as a consequence of the influx of people into the area and will formulate measures to mitigate any adverse effects, such as inflation or tensions with communities.
If your company would like to do business with the project mail us on email@example.com or call [+201100064445]. Please be ready to explain what services or products your company offers and to send your commercial registration and tax card. Please note that none of the procurement will be managed at the Benban Solar Power Park itself for security reasons, so you will have to go through the above-mentioned channel.
The Project has a dedicated grievance procedure for both staff working on site and for members of the neighbouring communities. You can either visit the Project’s community office in Aswan [address] or in Benban [location] to explain and lodge your complaint, or call [+201102545313] or email [firstname.lastname@example.org]. The Project is committed to an initial response within [X] days acknowledging that they have received your complaint, and to a formal reply within [Y] days, with a final objective of having the complaint resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved within [Z] days.
The relations between the Benban Solar Power Project and its neighbouring villages are managed through a Community Liaison Desk, staffed with Community Liaison Officers.
Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) serve as an important link between residents of a particular community and a company or project that is located near these communities. In essence, the work of a CLO centres on informing these residents about various issues that affect them, as well as getting their input on these issues, an activity also referred to as ‘Stakeholder Engagement”. They also direct community members to the different opportunities a company or project may offer to local communities, such as employment, supplier opportunities or a community development program. Finally, they provide information on major milestones, particularly during the construction phase, consult communities on their perceptions and needs, map and engage with various stakeholder groups in these communities and manage community grievances.
A Community Liaison Desk (CLD) is an office where Community Liaison Officers are based and that serves as the primary interface between the Benban Solar Power Project and its neighbouring villages. The main task of the Desk is the implementation of the “Stakeholder Engagement Plan”, which serves to build constructive relations between the Project and Project-Affected Persons (PAPs), as well as with secondary stakeholders. The Desk will be staffed by both female and male CLOs, to cater for the needs of both women and men in the communities.
Additionally, the CLD will be responsible for the implementation of the Project’s grievance mechanisms for both communities and workers (a certain number of which will be recruited from the local communities), in order to proactively and effectively manage potential conflicts, disputes, and disagreements. It will thus handle complaints that may arise during the implementation of the Benban Solar Power Project, and act as the intermediary between the local residents and the companies engaged in the Project.
Other than that, the CLD will facilitate access to Project benefits intended for the local communities and engage with the various stakeholder groups identified in the communities, based on their particular needs, interests and perceptions of the Project.
The CLD falls directly under the supervision of the Environmental, Health, Safety and Social teams of Health and Safety Home for Investment.
The CLD will be established prior to the commencement of construction and will be in place throughout the lifetime of the Project, i.e. for the duration of twenty-five (25) years. The CLD will close down with the end of the Project.
The CLD uses a variety of communication channels that suit the needs of different stakeholders and meet various communication objectives, such as:
- Regular meetings
- Individual meetings and phone calls
- Notice boards
- Public workshops
- Focus Groups
- Site Visits
The Community Liaison Desk will be located at the Benban Solar Park.
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