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Africa’s biggest onshore wind farm closes

Nareva Renouvelables and Kharabel FZE will develop the $350m IPP project for Morocco’s government-owned electricity company, which will be the wind plant’s offtaker for the next 20 years.

Tarfaya, the largest wind farm in Africa and only its second independent power project (IPP) wind scheme, according to advisors Chadbourne & Parke, has recently reached financial close, the law firm disclosed in a statement.

The $350 million onshore wind farm will be located in the south west of Morocco and is being backed by three local banks: Attijariwafa Bank, Banque Populaire and Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur. The project was awarded to a team of Nareva Renouvelables and Kharabel FZE, a subsidiary of global power firm International Power. 

State-owned electricity company Office National de l’Electricite (ONE) will be the offtaker for the Tarfaya wind farm via a 20-year power purchase agreement. Chadbourne & Parke acted as advisor to ONE and is also advising it on a 1,320-megawatt coal-fired IPP, for which Nareva and International Power are the preferred bidders.

Morocco has started a $3.5 billion programme to develop its wind and solar capacity. Under the programme, a total of five wind farms are expected to be developed with a view to augmenting Morocco’s wind power capacity from the current 280 megawatts to 2,000 megawatts by 2020, according to Chadbourne & Parke.

Chadbourne & Parke has been active in the MENA region, having advised the sponsors of a $225 million wastewater treatment plant in Jordan that recently reached financial close.