UAE-based Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) said it has closed $1.4bn worth of project financing for the expansion of the Jorf Lasfar power station in Morocco.
The Jorf Lasfar plant is the largest coal-fired plant in the Middle East and North Africa, says TAQA. It is currently supplying about 40% of Morocco’s electricity output.
With the latest expansion, the power plant’s generating capacity will go up by 700MW to 2,056MW. Agreement for the expansion project was signed in 2009.
The Jorf Lasfar power plant, which is the first independent power producer (IPP) in Morocco, is located 130km south west of Casablanca on the Atlantic coast in the El Jadida province.
TAQA chief executive Carl Sheldon stated: "This is a landmark deal for Morocco and the region which has set a gold standard for financing large-scale infrastructure projects."
Commenting on the expansion project, TAQA vice chairman Abdulla Saif Al-Nuaimi noted that it is already 80% complete.
"But this financing shows that, for the right deal with the right structure, significant non-recourse funds can be attracted to the Middle East and North Africa at competitive rates," Al-Nuaimi added.
The company said it will commit about $400m of equity funding for the expansion project, while other lenders are providing financing for nearly 75% of the total project costs.
Construction at the Jorf Lasfar power plant started in September 2010, and the two new units are expected to be commissioned in December 2013 and April 2014.