Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, announced at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week that the financing of the largest solar power plant in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been completed.
The financing for the 200 megawatt-capacity (MW) Baynouna solar energy project, to be built 10 kilometres outside of the capital Amman, was formalised at a signing ceremony between Baynouna Solar Energy Company (BSEC) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). BSEC is a joint-venture between Masdar and Taaleri.
Witnessing the signing ceremony were HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar; Khaled Al Qubaisi, Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace, Renewables & Information Communications Technology, Mubadala Investment Company; Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar; and Juhani Elomaa, CEO of Taaleri.
Signing were Niall Hannigan, Chairman of Baynouna Solar Energy PSC; Erik Becker, Manager of Infrastructure, MENA, IFC; Abdul-Fatah Al-Daradkeh, General Manager, National Electric Power Company (NEPCO); and Turan Caglayan, Senior Director, Corporate & Funds for Asia and Europe, DEG.
“We are glad to have Masdar developing its second renewable energy project in Jordan, our largest solar energy farm. The Baynouna project is helping to deliver on His Majesty King Abdullah II’s vision for a diversified energy mix and progressing the national agenda for energy security and sustainability, and is a result of the cooperation agreements signed between the Jordanian government and Abu Dhabi government represented by Masdar,” commented HE Dr Saleh Kharabsheh, Minister of Energy, Jordan.
BSEC is the Masdar-led special project vehicle developing Jordan’s largest solar PV plant on behalf of the state utility National Electric Power Company. The Finnish investment company Taaleri Group announced last week that it has taken a 30 per cent stake in BSEC.
Project financing was managed by IFC. IFC invested part of its own capital while securing funds from Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Dutch Development Bank FMO, Europe Arab Bank, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), and German development bank DEG.
In December 2017, the EPC contract for the wind farm was awarded to a consortium led by Enviromena Power Systems, a UAE-based company that develops, deploys and operates clean energy solutions throughout the MENA region, and Arabian BEMCO Contracting Co., a Saudi-based contractor in industrial and power projects.
Baynouna is JICA’s first investment in a privately financed renewable energy project in the Middle East. It is also Taaleri Group’s first renewable energy partnership in the region and follows its entry into the Masdar-led Čibuk 1 wind farm in Serbia.
To be completed in the second quarter of 2020, the Baynouna solar energy project will supply approximately 110,000 homes while displacing an estimated 360,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking nearly 80,000 cars off the roads.
Generating 563.3 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity per year, the project is expected to meet three per cent of Jordan’s annual power consumption. It will also reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports, which currently supply 96 per cent of the country’s energy needs.
“Together, we have reached an important milestone with the financial close and are ready to begin construction of the largest solar power plant in Jordan,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar. “With backing now secured from lenders in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the global interest in commercial renewable energy in Jordan is clear. This development reflects the visionary leadership of the Jordanian government in creating the optimal environment to realise world-class renewable energy projects, attracting foreign capital.”
Baynouna is Masdar’s second major renewable energy project in Jordan after the 117MW Tafila wind farm was inaugurated in December 2015. Baynouna and Tafila combined will contribute around a fifth (18 per cent) of the 1.8 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity Jordan plans to install by 2020. The kingdom hopes to source 15 per cent of its electricity from renewables by then.
Since 2006, Masdar has invested in renewable energy projects with a combined value of more than US$8.5 billion. The company’s share of this investment is over US$2.7 billion and the electricity generating capacity of these projects, which are either fully operational or under development, is nearly 3 gigawatts (GW) gross.
Masdar continues to grow its solar PV portfolio which includes the first solar thermal power plant producing electricity 24 hours a day, Gemasolar in Spain; the Middle East’s largest single renewable energy project, the 100MW Shams 1 CSP in Abu Dhabi.
In 2016, a Masdar-led consortium was appointed to build the 800MW third phase of the Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, quoting a record low price for solar power generation.
Masdar’s Clean Energy division is a leading developer and operator of utility-scale, grid-tied projects; applications providing energy access to communities away from the electricity grid; and carbon abatement projects.