The financing is expected to help Jordan improve renewables use and transform its energy sector while reducing its dependency on imported fossil fuels.

IFC Middle East and North Africa director Mouayed Makhlouf said: "This innovative project harnesses solar power to help Jordan meet its growing demand for energy in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way."

The project, which is the largest private sector-led solar initiative in the Middle East and North Africa, will have a combined capacity of 102MW and will become Jordan’s first private industry-scale solar photovoltaic parks.

The program, which will receive $91.5m loan from IFC, will support the Jordanian government’s first phase of a planned total of 12 solar power plants.

Another $116m will be provided for the project by Arab Bank (Bahrain), European Arab Bank, the Dutch development bank FMO, FinnFund, and OPEC’s Fund for International Development.

In addition to generating 212GW hours each year of non-polluting sustainable power, the power plants will reduce CO2 emissions by 123,000 tons per year.

Various Jordanian and international investors consortiums through seven independent private sector companies will construct five of the parks near the city of Ma`an in south-central Jordan and the remaining two near Aqaba in the south and near Mafraq in the north.