AfDB funds Morocco energy projects

By Sarah Ann McCay06 September 2012

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved loans worth US$ 800 million for Morocco's renewable energy development during the first half of this year. The AfDB hopes its funding will spur private investment in Morocco's growing wind and solar markets.

The AfDB loans will help finance Morocco's plan to develop a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant at Ouarzazate. The CSP plant aims to generate 120 to 160 MW in its first phase and 500 MW at full capacity, making it the largest CSP plant in the world.

The project is structured as a public private partnership (PPP) between the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN) and a private partner. Estimated at € 1.04 billion (US$ 1.3 billion) total cost, the project will be jointly financed by six other agencies including the World Bank and the European Investment Bank.

AfDB is also helping finance Morocco's Integrated Wind/Hydro and Rural Electrification Programme. It aims to increase national wind power capacity by 1,070 MW and expand rural electrification to 79,436 households. It is being implemented by Morocco's public utility, Office National de l'Électricité (ONE), for a total project cost of US $2.16 billion. Completion is scheduled for 2017.

Morocco aims to increase installed renewable energy capacity to 42% by 2020 and hopes to become a renewable energy industry leader.

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