By JT – Jan 18,2017

AMMAN — Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, said on Wednesday it has selected International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to oversee the funding of the largest solar power plant in Jordan.

At Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in the UAE, Masdar CEO Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi and the company’s chief financial officer, Niall Hannigan, signed a finance mandate letter with Eric Becker, the IFC manager of infrastructure for the Middle East and North Africa, a Masdar statement said.

The 200-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic facility is being developed by the wholly owned Masdar subsidiary Baynouna Solar Energy Company.

The announcement follows the signing of a power purchase agreement in October 2016 between Masdar and the state-owned National Electric Power Company.

“Our partnership with IFC will ensure that this landmark project will be developed according to the highest standards of financial best practice, while illustrating the strength of investor confidence in renewable energy,” the statement quoted Hannigan as saying.

Expected to break ground later this year, the 200MW plant will be built 10km outside Amman.

Once connected to the national grid, it will supply the annual power needs of around 110,000 homes and displace an estimated 360,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

“The Middle East and North Africa [region] continues to face serious power shortages, and there is now even greater pressure on infrastructure services,” Becker said in the statement.

“We have been working with Masdar, a key partner, since 2013 and welcome this opportunity to further support the development of renewable energy generation capacity across the region.”

The project follows the inauguration of the 117MW Tafileh wind farm in Jordan in December 2015, “the Middle East’s largest onshore wind power development”, according to the statement.

Masdar has a 31 per cent stake in the Tafileh project, with InfraMed (50 per cent) and EP Global Energy (19 per cent).

The combined output of the Tafileh wind farm and the Baynouna solar project will account for nearly 18 per cent of the 1.8 gigawatts of renewable energy Jordan plans to install by 2020.