Masdar closes $188mn financing for Jordan solar project, embarks on expansion drive
Funding for the 200 megawatt (MW) Baynouna solar project was arranged by the International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Abu Dhabi’s Future Energy Company (Masdar) has completed a $188 million financing package for the largest solar power plant in Jordan, it said this week.
The Baynouna Solar Energy Company (BSEC) is a Masdar-led project to develop Jordan’s largest solar power plant on behalf of the state utility National Electric Power Company. The Finnish investment company, Taaleri Group, took a 30 percent stake in BSEC, it said last week.
Funding for the 200 megawatt (MW) Baynouna solar project was arranged by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The financing package includes a $54mn loan from the IFC and $134 million from other senior lenders, including a parallel loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) , IFC said in a statement.
Other lenders included Dutch Development bank FMO and Europe Arab Bank as well as the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and German development bank DEG.
“Together, we have reached an important milestone with the financial close and are ready to begin construction of the largest solar power plant in Jordan,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive of Masdar.
“With backing now secured from lenders in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the global interest in commercial renewable energy in Jordan is clear.”
Project completion is scheduled for the second quarter of 2020 and it will supply power to some 110,000 homes while displacing 360,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, the statement from Masdar said, adding it will meet three percent of Jordan’s annual power consumption.
Baynouna is Masdar’s second major renewable energy project in Jordan after the 117 MW Tafila wind farm inaugurated in December 2015.
Abu Dhabi’s state-owned green energy firm Masdar has so far invested $8.5bn in renewable energy projects in the United Arab Emirates and is active in 20 countries with an installed capacity of nearly three gigawatts. It plans to grow to six gigawatts capacity by 2023.
Masdar is planning to double its current portfolio size in renewable energy over the next five years and expand its operations to countries in south-east Asia and North and South America due to an increase in demand for clean energy.
“We would like to further expand into south-east Asian market and Americas both in wind and solar power generation. We are in the early stage of business development and will be screening opportunities one by one as we focus on expansion,” said Badr Al Lamki, executive director of clean energy at Masdar told Gulf News this week.
Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia are some of the countries which the company is targeting to launch their operations in south-east Asia.
The clean energy firm is also looking into new opportunities in Indian sub-continent especially in India and Pakistan due to growing demand for renewable energy projects.
“We will be able to design, supervise construction, operate and arrange financing. We also have secondary technologies like waste to energy.”
Asked how much investment the company is targeting in the coming years, Al Lamki did not disclose the exact figure but said the financial matrix will depend on the type of the project being executed.
Masdar has invested $2.7bn to date in various renewable projects across the globe.
Speaking on Masdar’s future plans in the Gulf region, he said they are mainly focusing on regional markets like Saudi Arabia and Oman, apart from the UAE.
“The UAE is certainly a great example for the region, and it is among the first to set targets with 24% of clean energy by 2021, and 44% by 2050.”
“Saudi Arabia is targeting 9.5 gigawatts by 2023. It’s a huge market and a regional market. Masdar will continue to be interested and continue to seek opportunities to invest in Saudi Arabia and also other Gulf countries,” Al Lamki said.
The company is also looking to participate in renewable energy projects in Oman.
“[The] renewable sector has picked up momentum and there are economic benefits of adopting renewables. We are excited about future.”