VIENNA, 1st May, 2023 (WAM) -- The OPEC Fund for International Development has received the "Abdlatif Y. Al-Hamad Development Award in the Arab World" in recognition of the co-financing of the South Helwan Power Plant, one of the largest power sector projects in Egypt and the Middle East.
The prize, awarded for the first time, is being presented during the Joint Arab Financial Institutions' 2023 annual meetings in Rabat, Morocco.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa attended the meetings to engage with member and partner countries and to participate in a high-level policy roundtable on "Climate Finance to Achieve Sustainable Transformation".
Commenting on the award, Dr. Alkhalifa said, "The Arab world is in great need of investment and capacity building to reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals in time. The success of the South Helwan project can serve as an example of how we can make real progress by joining forces. The project's success was due to the cooperation with the Arab Coordination Group partners and productive collaboration with other multilateral development banks."
Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt, expressed gratitude towards the OPEC Fund for its support and effective partnership in enhancing development efforts in various areas, particularly in the energy and electricity sectors.
She added that the South Helwan project is an example of successful cooperation between development partners, with various Arab financing institutions contributing to its financing. Egypt aims to strengthen partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development partners to achieve sustainable development goals and the 2030 National Development Agenda.
The South Helwan Power Plant has a total capacity of 1.95GW and created 4,000 jobs during construction alone, benefiting commercial clients in vital economic sectors and private households. Driven 95 per cent by natural gas, it generates electricity supporting agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.
The OPEC Fund joined forces with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the World Bank and the Government of Egypt to support this project. It has a strong track record of investing in critical sectors across the Middle East and North Africa, providing over US$4 billion in development financing to the region to date, with the exclusion of its member countries.