Abdul Latif Jameel Energy (ALJ Energy) has said that it has secured $65 million in funding to build and operate a new solar farm at Al Sawafi in the north of Jordan.
The Jeddah-based company said that funding for the 51 megawatt Sawafi 1 project has been provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – a European Union-backed funder of infrastructure projects - and Dutch development bank FMO.
Following the financial close of the project, Abdul Latif Jameel Energy's subsidiary, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), will design, finance, build, manage and maintain the photovoltaic plant, which will span over 170 hectares.
Spanish contractor TSK has been employed to carry out engineering, procurement and construction work on a system that will house more than 200,000 photovoltaic panels with tracking technology. The project is expected to power 40,000 homes and generate about 240 jobs during the construction phase.
The loan has been provided to a special purpose vehicle, Al-Safawi for Green Energy, which is 70 percent owned by FRV and 30 percent by Amman-based Arabia Trading & Consulting Company (ATC).
The Sawafi 1 project is ALJ Energy's third solar project in Jordan, following on from the Mafraq I and II projects, which represent a combined investment of $180 million and which achieved financial close in March this year. These two plants are due to begin operations in June 2018.
Once the Al Sawafi project is commissioned the company will generate enough power for 120,000 homes, the company said, generating 435 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
Roberto De Diego Arozamena, CEO of ALJ Energy, said: “Governments across the Middle East have set bold targets for renewable energy. We remain committed to being the leading solar PV development company in the Middle East and beyond.”
Harry Boyd-Carpenter, EBRD director for power and energy, said: “This project is the third financed by the EBRD under Jordan’s second round of its solar energy programme, bringing the total installed capacity of power projects supported by the EBRD in Jordan to more than 1,000 MW."
Mohanned Khalifeh, ATC group CEO said: “The project, which was originated by ATC, is our second solar development in Jordan. As the only local developer to be successfully involved in this second round of solar programme, we endeavour to amplify our commitment through the capacity building of local Jordanian talent across all project phases.”
© Zawya 2017