IFC finances FRV solar plant in Jordan

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IFC finances FRV solar plant in Jordan

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has arranged a US$76 million financing package for Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) to build the 50 MW solar plant in Mafraq, northern Jordan.

The financing package, which includes US$21 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program, will support the construction of FRV’s first solar power plant in the city of Mafraq. The new plant will supply power at 6.9 cents per kilowatt-hour – a price far below Jordan’s average cost of electricity and among the lowest for solar energy worldwide. 

The plant, which is due to start operating in 2018, represents approximately 1 percent of Jordan’s overall generation capacity and will supply about 155 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, sufficient to power over 40,000 average homes. It is also expected to create about 250 jobs during the construction phase and help reduce the carbon footprint by displacing over 80,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to removing approximately 17,000 cars from the country’s roads. 

As we reported in November 2015, Abdul Latif Jameel Energy andEnvironmental Services, and its portfolio company Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), announced the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the solar PV power plant. The PPA was signed with the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).

Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: 

“In Jordan, the demand for power is growing rapidly. Privately-owned power companies, with their expertise and financial clout, have a vital role to play in bringing new generation capacity online at a lower cost which in turn will help the  government to provide Jordan's economy with the energy it needs to grow.” 

Tristán Higuero, COO from FRV, said:

“This is our first plant in Jordan and the country has tremendous potential when it comes to renewable energy. By tapping into the power of the sun, we can help provide the country with affordable, clean energy and support a green growth path.” 

The investment is part of a IFC program to help Jordan transform its power generation base. In November 2013, IFC closed financing for the first commercial-scale renewable energy project, the 117-megawatt Tafila wind farm. IFC followed this in 2014 with the financing of the Jordanian government’s first seven solar PV plants; the largest-ever private sector-led solar project in the MENA region, which offered simplified, inexpensive financing to participating developers. IFC’s innovative program won Infrastructure Journal’s prestigious Middle East Renewable Dear of the year award and serves as the basis for FRV’s financing. 

In addition to the US$76 million from IFC and the government of Canada, IFC also mobilized financing for FRV’s solar plant from other investors, including US$12 million from the Dutch development bank FMO, US$8 million from Europe Arab Bank (EAB), and US$5 million from the Finnish development financier FinnFund. The IFC-Canada Climate Change Program also contributed US$2.4 million in a C-loan. 

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