Solar, Utility Scale

Solar Millennium Completes Egypt CSP Facility

The final collector unit for Egypt’s first ever solar thermal large-scale facility has been assembled and installed at Egypt’s Kuraymat project site, 100 kilometers south of Cairo. The technology for the parabolic trough solar field comes from Flagsol GmbH in Cologne, a technology company jointly owned by the Solar Millennium AG and Ferrostaal AG.

The hybrid power plant has a capacity of 150 megawatts (MW) and uses both natural gas and solar energy to generate electricity. The power plant is being built on behalf of the Egyptian New and Renewable Energy Authority.

Engineers in Germany designed the plant and supplied the controls for the solar field. The construction and commissioning of the solar field is taking place in cooperation with the Egyptian company Orascom Construction Industries. Overall, almost 2,000 collectors with mirrors covering 130,000 square metres have been assembled and installed in the solar field. Each unit is 12 metres long and 6 metres wide.

The project was put out to international tender and the total cost will amount to more than €250 million, about 30% of which is allocated to CSP systems. Flagsol and Orascom Construction Industries will run the solar part of the power plant for two years after commissioning, before it is finally handed over to the owners. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has granted a US $50 million subsidy for the solar field.

The collectors were assembled by specialists in the purpose-built assembly hall before their optical precision was controlled by a photogrammetric device. The collectors were then taken to the solar field where the last absorber pipes and controls are being installed. At the same time, the first rows of collectors are already being commissioned.

The heat transfer circuit for the entire solar field is expected to be commissioned later this mont. This involves a heat transfer medium, which flows through the absorber pipes in the focal line of the solar collectors and which is heated up to about 400°C by the concentrated solar radiation. This thermal energy will be fed into the power station unit as soon as this unit has been completed by the company in charge. Commissioning of the entire power plant is scheduled to take place in autumn 2010.