EBRD finances first solar power plant in Jordan

By Nibal Zgheib

Jordan cityscape at sunset
Amman, sunset

The EBRD is providing a US$25 million loan for the construction and development of a 20 MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Jordan to help address the country’s energy shortages through utilising its world class solar resource.

The new plant, located 13 km south east of the city of Ma'an in southern Jordan, will deliver much-needed generating capacity from a clean, reliable  domestic resource, thereby reducing the country’s dependence on hydrocarbons. Jordan imports over 97 per cent of the energy it consumes. Helping to develop sustainable energy resources and increasing energy security are key objectives of the EBRD’s strategy in Jordan.

The power plant is being developed, and will be constructed and operated by a 100% subsidiary of SunEdison, Inc., one of the world’s leading solar developers and investors. The project will be co-financed by a US$25 million loan from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), with whom the EBRD also co-financed the 240 MW Al Manakher power plant, which began operations in July 2014.

Nandita Parshad, EBRD Director for Power and Energy, said: “We are delighted to finance the EBRD's first renewable project in Jordan and the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean. This is a region with a rapidly growing demand for power but also with a large potential for the development of renewables. Jordan in particular is a country where solar energy can make a clean and reliable contribution to meeting rising demand and reducing dependence on expensive hydrocarbons. We are very pleased to cooperate again with OPIC in Jordan and excited to be working for the first time with SunEdison, who have brought their world class skills and experience to this ground breaking project.”

The EBRD started its activities in Jordan in 2012 and to date has invested €200million in the country with a focus on supporting sustainable energy, direct and indirect financing of private enterprises and promoting infrastructure reform and facilitating non-sovereign financing.