The Egyptian Electricity Ministry has unveiled plans to build a new $700m 100MW solar power plant between 2012 and 2017 that should further establish the country as one of the leading developers of utility-scale solar plants. According to reports in the local Al-Ahram newspaper, the solar power project at Kom Ombo, near the Aswan High Dam hydro-electric plant, will be financed by a number of international institutions, including the African Development Fund and the World Bank. Additional finance is also expected to be provided through the UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) carbon offsetting scheme. The project is part of a five-year plan running from 2012-2017 designed to establish Egypt as one of the top generators of solar energy in North Africa. The project will be the nation's second large scale solar power project following the country's first solar plant at El-Koraymat, south of Cairo, which is expected to be finished later this year and will produce 20MW of solar power alongside 120MW of conventional natural gas power. The vast majority of Egypt's power is currently provided by natural gas-fired power stations, with a small percentage coming from large scale hydroelectric plants on the Nile delta. However, the country's government has pledged to generate 20% of its power from renewable sources by 2020, which it hopes to achieve largely through wind and solar expansion. It is also eyeing the potential to export solar energy to southern Europe as part of the high profile Desertec initiative. Northern Africa has been touted as a potential hub for solar energy generation given its low levels of rain and year-round sun, but uptake of the technology has been slow, largely because of high capital costs.