Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC) today signed the financing agreement to begin construction of the Middle East’s first utility-scale wind-power project. Located in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the 117MW Tafila Wind Farm will increase the country’s total power capacity by 3%. The project will cost an estimated US$290 million.
JWPC is a co-development between InfraMed (50%), Masdar (31%) and EP Global Energy (19%).
“JWPC’s 117MW Tafila Wind Farm is the first utility-scale renewable-energy project in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the region and is a major step toward getting Jordan on the renewable energy map of the world,” said Samer Judeh, chairman of JWPC. “His Majesty King Abdullah’s Vision and the Jordanian Government's strategy, aims to encourage investors and financiers to make these vital projects possible.”
“JWPC’s highly reputable group of investors is a testament to the quality of the JWPC development and the promising investment climate in renewable energy projects in Jordan. Our country has suffered from a lack of domestic conventional energy sources and from serious challenges in security of energy imports. Jordan, however, has abundant renewable resources, and this will be the first and a showcase for many such projects to come,” added Mr. Judeh.
Tafila will produce approximately 400 GWh of electricity annually and displace 235,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
InfraMed CEO, Frederic Ottavy, said “The Tafila project is responding to Jordan's pressing energy needs while adapting to the country's unique fossil fuel resource situation, water scarcity and wind abundance. InfraMed and other leading international players' involvement demonstrates the project's economic viability and sets a benchmark for the future implementation of projects under the country's clean energy law.
This investment is firmly consistent with InfraMed's long term commitment to renewable energy in the region”
With Jordan’s electricity demand expected to grow by an estimated 5% annually until 2020, the country is rapidly developing new sources of energy generation to avoid future shortfalls.
“Jordan is one of the Middle East’s most promising clean energy markets and this project is another milestone in the region’s energy evolution,” said H.E Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company. “Jordan is a prime example of where the cost of renewable energy is lower than conventional sources of power generation. This project is a natural step toward Jordan’s energy and economic security. Today, countries in the region are increasingly integrating wind and solar power as commercially viable solutions to address long-term energy security. Just like the rest of the world, the Middle East is faced with meeting rising energy demand, while also reducing its carbon footprint.”
JWPC will start power delivery in 2014, building up to full commercial operations in 2015.
“We started this development in 2009 and it was a pleasure to enter into a co-development partnership with InfraMed and Masdar as well as our eminent financiers,” said Mr. Efthyvoulos Paraskevaides, founding chairman and CEO of EP Global Energy. “This project is a testament to EPGE’s strategy in the EMENA region, to develop utility scale renewable energy projects cost effectively and for long term sustainable growth. Taking such a project from the drawing board all the way through development, financing, construction, and commercial operation, requires a dedicated group of like-minded investors committed to supplying the world with sustainable, renewable energy cost effectively. ”
Tafila is the first wind-power project to be developed under Jordan’s Renewable and Energy Efficiency Law passed in 2010. The law calls for the country to obtain 7 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015, rising to 10 percent by 2020. When the Tafila project is fully developed, it will account for almost 10 percent of Jordan’s 2020 renewable energy target.
To reach its target, Jordan enacted a feed-in tariff for renewable energy added to the power grid. Often viewed as the fastest way to scale-up renewable energy deployment, the country’s feed-in tariff is the first of its kind in the Middle East.
Project financing was provided by a group of international financial institutions and banks including the International Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank, Eksport Kredit Fonden, OPEC Fund for International Development, FMO, Europe Arab Bank and the Capital Bank of Jordan.
JWPC was advised by Nabarro LLP (UK), Hadidi & Co (Jordan), Cube Engineering GmBH (Germany), MCM Law (Cyprus), and PWC.