World Bank funds solar power (photovoltaic) in Jordan

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced this Wednesday (15th) the approval of a US$ 207.5 million loan package for the construction of seven photovoltaic plants in Jordan. The IFC is the World Bank’s private sector arm.

According to an IFC press release, the full project, which provides for the building of 12 plants, will be the largest private solar power initiative in the Middle East and North Africa.

Out of the total amount, US$ 91.5 million will come from the IFC’s own account. The remaining US$ 116 million will be supplied by the Arab Bank (Bahrain), the European Arab Bank, FMO (the Dutch development bank), FinnFund (a Finnish development company) and from the Fund for International Development Fund of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).

The first seven plants will have a combined capacity of 102 megawatts and will be Jordan’s first private industry-scale solar photovoltaic parks. They should generate 212 gigawatt/hours per year of power and should cut down carbon dioxide emissions by 123,000 tonnes per year.

“This innovative project harnesses solar power to help Jordan meet its growing demand for energy in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, the IFC’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, according to the press release.

“In a region where demand for electricity is rising rapidly every year, it also demonstrates the importance of the private sector in increasing capacity and boosting global renewable energy generation,” he said.

Out of the seven plants, five will be built near Ma’na, in South-Central Jordan, one will be built near Aqaba, in the South, and the other near Mafraq, in the North.

According to the IFC, the projects are being developed and built by consortia of JOrdanian and international investors, through seven private enterprises.