The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp), a multilateral development bank, has announced its first direct equity investment in a wind energy venture, the Tafila Wind Project in Jordan.
Apicorp will take a 20% equity stake in the project, being developed by the Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC). This also marks Apicorp’s first equity investment in the country.
Dr Ahmed Ali Attiga, Chief Executive Officer of Apicorp commented: “We are proud to partner in the Jordan Wind Project Company, one of the Mena region’s pioneering energy companies. This equity investment affirms Apicorp’s position as a trusted partner to the region’s energy sector and underscores the strategic drive to enhance access to sustainable power, an area in which Jordan continues to be a regional leader.
“With the Arab world’s abundant wind resources, we see wind power as a viable component and key technology in the region’s future power generation mix, offering a sustainable, cost-effective energy source that will enable wider access to modern electricity to millions of people and spur employment and economic growth.”
JWPC’s mandate is in line with Jordan’s ambitious target to have clean energy account for 20% of the country’s overall power generation by 2021, thereby developing new and sustainable energy sources as part of the country’s energy mix. The $287 million 117-megawatt wind farm connected to the national grid accounts for 12% of Jordan’s total operating renewable energy generation, generating around 350GWh of clean energy annually which can power 83,000 homes.
Tafila Wind Farm is owned and operated by the Jordan Wind Project Company PSC (JWPC), in which Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy firm Masdar owns a 50% stake. Apicorp and Tamasuk Holding, the infrastructure and development arm of Al Blagha Holding for Investments Co., partnered to acquire the remaining 50% stake, owning 20% and 30% beneficial stakes, respectively.
Officially inaugurated in December 2015, Tafila Wind Farm displaces nearly 235,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year. It also undertook a comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) during its development period to identify environmental and social impacts the project may have in the surrounding areas, and continues to implement a strict social and environmental regime in accordance with lenders’ requirements, Jordanian environmental guidelines and international best practices.
Mohammed Al Balwi, Chairman of Tamasuk Holding Company added: “The Jordan Wind Project Company is a strategic investment evidences Tamasuk Holding’s commitment to sustainable infrastructure and we are immensely proud of our partnership with leading institutions like Masdar and Apicorp. With this investment, we have established a presence in the Kingdom of Jordan and look forward to growing our asset base in sustainable infrastructure investments such as Tafila Wind Farm.”
Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “Masdar is pleased to welcome Apicorp and Tamasuk Holding as partners in the Jordan Wind Project Company and the Tafila Wind Farm, the first utility-scale commercial wind project in the Middle East. The involvement of these prestigious entities signals the confidence of the regional investment community in the potential of renewable energy to become a large-scale and reliable provider of the Middle East & North Africa’s power needs. It further illustrates the success of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in diversifying its energy mix, using both wind and solar power.”
According to Apicorp’s recently issued Mena Energy Investment Outlook 2020-2024 report, the Mena region will need to invest $144 billion in the power sector to meet energy needs. The GWEC report forecasts that 10.7 gigawatts of wind energy capacity will be installed in the Mena region during the same period, a 167% increase from the current 6 gigawatts currently installed.