IFC invests $20m in Moroccan solar power complex

November 16, 2016

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has agreed to invest $20m in ACWA Power Ouarzazate, a developer of the 160 MW NOORo 1 concentrated solar power (CSP) parabolic trough plant in Morocco.

IFC’s equity investment will help support the development of Morocco’s solar power industry, part of an effort to combat climate change and bolster the country’s supply of electricity.

IFC is providing the funds to ACWA Power both from its own account and via IFC Global Environment Facility/Earth Fund, an initiative designed to support innovative public-private partnerships.

“MENA is leading the way towards a future built on clean, renewable energy,” said Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC Vice President of Global Client Services.

“The region has tremendous potential when it comes to generating power from the sun and the wind. This project demonstrates that private companies and governments are beginning to tap into that promise,” he added.

NOORo 1 is part of NOORo Solar Complex, which will be the world’s largest CSP complex once complete. NOORo Solar Complex will provide power to more than one million people, while preventing the release of 300,000 tonnes of greenhouse gasses annually.

“The world is already experiencing the effects of climate change and renewable energy is vital in the push to scale back the effects of global warming,” said Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO, at ACWA Power.

“NOORo serves as the perfect example to the international community that emerging economies like Morocco – which is setting the example to the rest of the world – can power an ambitious vision for renewable energy, and create a greener and more sustainable future for its people,” he said.

Padmanathan added that Morocco has led the charge for clean energy” The procurement process was clear and transparent, and the country was prepared to support debt-equity transactions, which created an encouraging environment for private companies like ACWA Power.”

“The IFC is a natural partner for this iconic project and we are delighted to have them on board. Together, we will continue to foster social and economic development in Ouarzazate by providing the local population with critical infrastructure, job creation and skills training,” he said.

The NOORo complex represents a significant strategic partnership between the state and a private enterprise.

IFC’s financing for the NOORo 1 project is part of a broader effort by the institution to combat climate change and support economic development in the Middle East and North Africa.

During the 2016 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, IFC committed $1.3bn to the region, helping to support wind farms, solar power plants, and investments in energy efficiency, among other things. Source: Africa Global Funds