Jordan to get first utility-scale wind farm

The 117MW Tafila Wind Farm, which is being developed by Jordan Wind Project Co, is not just a first for Jordan but for the region as well.

The Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC) has reached financial close for the construction of a 117-megawatt (MW) wind farm in Jordan that is expected to cost $290 million and increase the country’s total power capacity by 3 percent, the company said in a statement.

JWPC’s majority shareholder with a stake of 50 percent is InfraMed, an infrastructure investment fund focusing on the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar holds a 31 percent stake, while the remaining 19 percent is held by EP Global Energy, a privately-owned development company.

JWPC will start delivering power in 2014 and build up to full commercial operations by 2015.

Tafila is the first wind power project to be developed under Jordan’s Renewable and Energy Efficiency Law passed in 2010, which sets a target of 10 percent of the country’s total electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Once fully developed, Tafila alone will generate almost 10 percent of the country’s electricity, according to the statement.

“Our country has suffered from a lack of domestic conventional energy sources and from serious challenges in security of energy imports,” JWPC chairman Samer Judeh said. “Jordan, however, has abundant renewable resources, and this will be the first and a showcase for many such projects to come,” he added.

Tafila will produce approximately 400 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity annually and displace 235,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

“Just like the rest of the world, the Middle East is faced with meeting rising energy demand, while also reducing its carbon footprint,” said Masdar’s chief executive Sultan Al Jaber.

The International Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank, Eksport Kredit Fonden, OPEC Fund for International Development, FMO, Europe Arab Bank, and the Capital Bank of Jordan were among the financial institutions that provided project financing.

Based in Paris, InfraMed was launched in 2010 by five institutional investors: Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti; France-based Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations; the European Investment Bank; Morocco’s Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion; and Egypt-based EFG Hermes.

Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar is wholly owned by the Mubadala Development Company, the strategic investment company of the government of Abu Dhabi.

JWPC’s minority shareholder, EPGE, is a Cyprus-based development company specialising in renewable energy projects with a focus on emerging markets, the Balkans and the Middle East. Founded in 2006, EPGE is a member of the Paraskevaides Group of Companies.