US and EBRD to finance 20 MW solar PV plant in Jordan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced a $25 million loan for the construction of a 20 MW solar photovoltaic plant in southern Jordan.

The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will co-finance the project, providing an additional $25 million loan, the EBRD said.

The 20 MW solar PV plant will be located 13 kilometers southeast of the city of Ma’an and will be constructed and operated by a 100% subsidiary of SunEdison, Inc.

The announcement was somewhat anticipated by local analysts who had covered EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti’s visit to Jordan on September 9. Chakrabarti met with senior government officials and representatives of the Jordanian business and financial community and the renewable energy sector.

Following the visit, the EBRD also announced a $30 million loan to Jordan District Energy to finance the construction of the country’s first district cooling and heating plant at the Abdali Urban Regeneration development in the capital, Amman.

The EBRD began investing in Jordan in 2012 and has already provided financing worth over €200 million in projects focused mainly on energy and energy efficiency.

Speaking of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, EBRD’s Director for Power and Energy Nandita Parshad said that "this is a region with a rapidly growing demand for power but also with a large potential for the development of renewables."

Jordan, which, according to the EBRD, imports more than 97% of the energy it consumes, is in particularly dire need of producing electricity domestically and reducing its reliance on vulnerable supplies of natural gas from Egypt and oil from Saudi Arabia. For this reason, the country has set a target of generating 7% of its energy from renewable sources by 2015 and 10% by 2020.