UAE-based renewable energy company AMEA Power will develop a solar photovoltaic project in Tunisia.

The $86 million project, which was awarded to the UAE firm in December 2019, will be located in Metbassta, Kairouan governorate.

AMEA confirmed on Tuesday it has reached financial close on the 120-megawatt solar project. When commissioned, it will be the company’s first operational asset in the country.

“The project will be the first large-scale, privately financed solar project in Tunisia and one of the largest infrastructure public-private partnership projects in the country over a decade,” the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, said in a statement.

IFC will provide AMEA Power with up to $26 million in debt financing, including $13 million in concessional finance as the implementing entity of the Clean Technology Fund, an initiative of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF).

The financial commitment is alongside African Development Bank's (AFDB) debt financing of up to $26 million, which includes $13 million from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).

“The financing package will support the development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the [solar project],” the statement said.

AMEA Power’s Chairman Hussain Al Nowais said the facility will be the largest solar project to be fully developed in Tunisia.

“Despite all the challenges that the market has been experiencing since the COVID pandemic, we are proud that we are delivering this project,” Al Nowais said.

AMEA bagged the project in December 2019. The Concession Agreement and the Power Purchase Agreement for the project were signed in June 2021 and ratified in May 2022.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)