Morocco solar plant secures 300-mln-euro loan

November 19, 2012
Solar panels are shown at a power plant in central France in September 2012. Morocco's pioneering 160-megawatt solar power plant took a step forward on Monday, securing European financing agreements worth 300 million euros ($385 million), or nearly half of the project's cost.

Morocco's pioneering 160-megawatt solar power plant took a step forward on Monday, securing European financing agreements worth 300 million euros ($385 million), or nearly half of the project's cost.

The European Investment Bank (EIB), Germany's KfW bank and the French Development Agency signed the financing accords with Morocco's solar energy agency MASEN in Marrakesh, to support the first phase of the Ouarzazate solar complex, a joint statement said.

The announcement comes shortly after two German firms, Bosch and Siemens, said they were quitting the ambitious Desertec project, to build solar power plants across North Africa and the Middle East, dealing a blow to Europe's plans.

Morocco is aiming to become a world-class renewable energy producer, and is eyeing the chance to export clean electricity to neighbouring Europe.

European financial support for the Ouarzazate project following Monday's agreements amounts to 345 million euros, the EIB said, including grants worth 45 million euros already agreed to by the European Union and Germany.

The desert power plant will also be financed by the World Bank, which agreed to a $300-million loan last year, and the African Development Bank.

A Saudi-led consortium won the contract in September to build the first 160-megawatt phase of the Ouarzazate plant, which is expected to cost nearly $1 billion and is slated for completion in late 2014.

A second phase is expected to raise the plant's to 500 by 2020.

It is the first in a series of vast planned in the north African kingdom.

Explore further: Africa's biggest wind farm opens in Morocco

Related Stories

Africa's biggest wind farm opens in Morocco

June 28, 2010

Morocco's King Mohammed VI inaugurated Monday a 250-million-euro (300 million dollar) wind farm near Tangiers, which an official source said was the biggest in Africa.

Morocco promotes solar energy with plane landing

June 6, 2012

(AP) -- Morocco's ambitious and expensive plan to draw 40 percent of its energy needs from the limitless power of its blazing sun by 2020 received a publicity boost this week as the first solar powered plane to make an intercontinental ...

Morocco sees 12% of power from sun by 2020

September 11, 2012

Morocco said Tuesday it is "very confident" of finding the investment needed to build vast solar power plants in its southern desert regions and become a world-class solar energy producer.

Saudi-led consortium wins Morocco solar energy bid (Update)

September 24, 2012

(AP)—Morocco awarded a $1 billion contract to build a solar power plant to a Saudi-led consortium on Monday, as part of this country's ambitious plans to harness the sun's energy and reduce dependence on imported fossil ...

Recommended for you

Sydney makes its mark with electronic paper traffic signs

July 28, 2015

Visionect, which is in the business of helping companies build electronic paper display products, announced that Sydney has launched e-paper traffic signs. The traffic signage integrates displays from US manufacturer E Ink ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.