Nov 17, 2016 – Renewables Now

Construction on up to 34 MW of solar capacity in Jordan is due to start next year with equity financing from the Catalyst MENA Clean Energy Fund, the European Investment Bank (EIB) said last week.

The up to solar power plants will cover the bulk of the electricity needs in the country of telecommunications company Orange SA (EPA:ORA).

These are the first projects to get underway with support from the Catalyst fund, which now has more than USD 47 million (EUR 44m) to invest. Its initial focus is Jordan, with plans to expand to Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt in the future. The vehicle is backed by EIB, through the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF), Dutch development bank FMO, the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Finnfund, and DEG -- a subsidiary of German development finance institution KfW.

"Together with our partners, we decided to invest in the Catalyst MENA Clean Energy Fund to help bridge the financing gap for private sector-led renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the MENA region," said Monica Arevalo, senior investment manager of the GEEREF.

In Jordan, the fund is looking to help the private sector take advantage of a recently introduced "wheeling law," where companies can build a renewable energy power plant at a different location from their premises to cover their power needs, while paying only for the transmission costs across the grid.

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