Acwa Power has inaugurated its 120 MW Khalladi wind farm in Tangier, which will supply clean power to a number of large industrial companies, mainly operating in the cement sector in Morocco at competitive prices.
The wind farm, developed by Acwa Power in collaboration with Arif investment fund, and located at Jbel Sendouq, 30 km from Tangiers, represents an investment of 1.7 billion dirhams ($170 million).
This entirely privately funded investment was financed with equity from Acwa Power and Arif and long tenor debt, from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in collaboration with the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), and the Moroccan BMCE Bank of Africa (BMCE). While Acwa Power, Arif and BMCE are well-established investors in the renewable energy sector in the kingdom, Khalladi project will be the first renewable energy financing by the EBRD in Morocco.
The 370 GWh of energy that the plant will produce and supply annually to industrial companies is equivalent to a yearly average consumption of a city of 400,000 people and will contribute to the reduction of more than 144,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
With renewable energy playing an important role in the overall development of countries in Africa, including Morocco, the Khalladi project will contribute Morocco achieve the 2020 target of increasing renewables energy component of the energy mix to 42 per cent and as part of this ambition to develop 2,000 MW of wind capacity all by 2020.
Acwa Power chairman Mohammad Abunayyan commented: “Morocco’s energy sector offers attractive investment opportunities, due to a well-established regulatory framework put in place by the Moroccan government and due to the country having already attracted significant investments in solar and wind energy all of which has made it possible for ACWA Power to, within six years, deliver the NOORo I solar plant (160 MWe) and the Khalladi wind farm (120MW) and a series of other investments in construction which by the end of 2018 will cumulate to 800 MW of generation capacity in the kingdom.”
Abunayyan added: “Today, we are proud of having been able to establish in Morocco a solid foundation of seven power plants which will all be operational by the end of this year. With a portfolio valued at over $3.2 billion, we look forward to participating in the future tenders that will be offered to the private sector for power generation and desalinated water production capacity.”
Acwa Power has made significant investments in Morocco, with projects and operations expected to be rolled out over the coming decades. Acwa Power Morocco will serve also as a platform for the development of other energy projects in the continent as the company grows its operations into West Africa.
Paddy Padmanathan, president and CEO of Acwa Power, said: “We are privileged to be contributing to the durability of Morocco’s economic and social development through the implementation an efficient environment friendly energy policy which is bringing online significant capacity of reliable electricity supplies utilising the renewable energy resources that the kingdom is richly endowed with thus reducing energy import bill and conserving foreign currency for decades to come." - TradeArabia News Service
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