Egypt-based cleantech KarmSolar secures $3 million from HSBC to fuel Farafra Solar Grid


Egypt-based cleantech KarmSolar has received $3 million (EGP83 million) in debt financing from HSBC to finance the development of its Farafra Solar Grid, the company’s 2nd Grid solution after the Marsa Alam Solar Grid in Egypt.

Founded in 2011 by Ahmed Zahran, Xavier Auclair, Yumna Madi and Randa Fahmy, KarmSolar provides several sectors in Egypt with renewable energy as part of its target to enlarge the private clean energy market.

“Through our partnership with Kamsolar, we are delighted to have successfully implemented a unique project that provides solar power to Alfarfra Farm. This project not only promotes sustainability but also provides a reliable source of energy that will enable us to become more efficient and effective in our operations. We are proud to be setting an example of sustainability for other businesses to emulate, as well as creating a positive impact on the communities we serve.” said Ali Al-Shareef, Group Chief Executive Officer of Sisban For Agricultural Investment, Nawa’s mother company.

The focus of this project is on the agricultural sector in the Farafra region, a sector known to be operating using inefficient, decentralized diesel generator setups. The Fararfra Solar Grid will allow for clients’ energy costs to be driven down significantly, as well as remove the burden of infrastructure, maintenance, and management operations of the farmers by providing cheaper kilowatt hours and competitive prices, allowing for more efficient optimization, in return driving down carbon footprint and CO2 offset.

The project aims to provide 60 per cent solar penetration, with a three-year goal to reach 100 per cent.

KarmSolar aspires Farafra Solar Grid to become fully operational by Q3 2023. The project is a first-of-its-kind microgrid solution that utilizes solar PV panels, battery storage system, and diesel generators in a centralized setup, operating under a usufruct agreement, then distributes the generated electricity to the different off-takers. The current clients for Phase 1 are Juhayna and Nawa for Agricultural Investment, with huge room for future expansion to other operational clients in this area. 

“The kickoff of the Farafra Solar Grid enables us to achieve our vision of extending affordable, reliable solar energy to relatively inaccessible parts of the country. It is very refreshing to see institutions like HSBC willing to focus their efforts and trust towards investing in nonconventional projects like the Farafra Solar Grid.”- KarmSolar’s Co-founder and CEO Ahmed Zahran commented. 

 “HSBC is committed to supporting and financing the transition to secure a net zero future by helping our clients access sustainable and innovative finance solutions across all business sectors so they can make the investments needed to achieve their net zero goals,” Yasmin Farid, Head of Small and Medium Enterprises and Business Banking, HSBC Bank Egypt, said.