A 550 million Egyptian pound project at the Assiut Oil Refining Company with a capacity of 10 megawatts is expected to be completed within 11 months, the statement said.

Another project to produce electricity from solar energy is planned at the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) with a capacity of 6.5 megawatts at an investment cost of 500 million Egyptian pounds ($10.42 million).

The two projects will be financed through an EU grant.

High levels of solar irradiation and expanses of desert mean Egypt has vast renewable potential, industry players say.

The government has brought forward a goal of producing 42% of its power generation from renewables to 2030 from 2035.

The North African nation is trying to position itself as a renewable energy hub, but faces competition from other countries in North Africa and the Middle East.

($1 = 48.0000 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah El Safty, Writing by Clauda Tanios, Editing by Louise Heavens)