World Bank to Loan $297 Million for Morocco Solar Power Plant

The World Bank Group approved $297 million in loans to help finance a 500-megawatt solar power project in Morocco.

The Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power Plant Project will receive a $200 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and another $97 million from the Clean Technology Fund, the Washington, D.C.-based bank said today in a statement.

The project will create jobs, help the European Union meet its low-carbon targets and deepen Mediterranean economic and energy integration, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick said in the statement.

“Ouarzazate demonstrates Morocco’s commitment to low-carbon growth and could demonstrate the enormous potential of solar power in the Middle East and North Africa.”

The project, to be build about 160 kilometers (99 miles) southeast of Marrakesh by 2015, is part of the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy’s plan to build 2 gigwatts of solar power.

In December, Morocco selected four groups of companies out of 19 bidding groups for the first phase of the project.

The groups were Mitsui & Co., Abeinsa Ingenieria y Construccion Industrial SA, Abengoa Solar SA and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co.; Enel SpA and ASC SCE; International Company for Water & Power, Aries IS and TSK EE; and Orascom Construction Industries, Solar Millennium AG and Evonik Steag AG.

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