Egypt’s Military Production Ministry is currently in talks with multiple companies, including German technology giant Siemens and an unnamed Chinese company, to build a massive solar panel factory in Egypt. According to the Ministry’s Head of Technical Offices Magdy Bedeir, there are six proposed offers currently under assessment, Al Borsa reports.

The idea of a military-operated solar panel factory has been circulating since July of last year, however, due to lack of foreign currency, all solar power initiatives were put on hold due to the high cost of inputs required. The Ministry is seeking to produce 1000 MW of power per year using the panels, and will select the company by April this year, according to Bedeir.

1000 MW (or 1GW) of power is enough to provide energy for about 700,000 homes. Due to Egypt’s continuous energy price hikes, the factory could serve as a key, cheap, and alternative power source, and provides major export potential, not just for the panels themselves, but the transfer of energy across boarders and increasing petroleum and natural gas exports by reducing Egypt's dependence on fossil fuels.

The Military Production Ministry has been coordinating with other ministries on how best to limit the need for imports of certain goods. Minister General Mohamed El Assar submitted a report in February to the cabinet, proposing a number of projects such as manufacturing agricultural equipment, construction of industrial buildings, and producing electronic appliances such as washing machines.

The Military Production Ministry has already begun to produce car parts, transportation equipment, petro-chemicals, the region's largest medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, and are establishing equipment factories, producing tractors, tires, water pumps, steel, and drilling equipment.