Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) has closed $1.4bn in project financing for the expansion of the Jorf Lasfar coal-fired power plant in Morocco.
The Jorf Lasfar facility, which is the largest coal-fired plant in the Middle East and North Africa, is currently supplying about 40%of Morocco’s electricity output.
With the expansion plan, the generating capacity of the Jorf Lasfar plant will increase by 700MW to 2,056MW.
Located 130km south west of Casablanca on the Atlantic coast in the El Jadida province, the coal-fired power plant is the first independent power producer (IPP) in Morocco.
TAQA said that it will commit about $400m of equity funding for the expansion project, while other lenders are providing financing for around 75% of the total project costs.
The Export-Import Bank of Korea, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance are providing direct loans and loan guarantees for over 50% of the total project debt.
Mandated lead arrangers for the credit facilities are Standard Chartered Bank, Banque Centrale Populaire, BNP Paribas and Société Générale.
TAQA vice chairman Abdulla Saif Al-Nuaimi said that the expansion project 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," said Al-Nuaimi.
TAQA chief executive Carl Sheldon commented; "This is a landmark deal for Morocco and the region which has set a gold standard for financing large-scale infrastructure projects."
Construction work at the Jorf Lasfar plant began in September 2010, and its two new units are slated to be commissioned in December 2013 and April 2014.