AfDB approves financing for 100-MW Kairouan solar project in Tunisia

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) recently approved a $27 million and €10 million loan package to co-finance the construction of the 100-MW Kairouan solar power plant in Tunisia, a country in North Africa.

This Board approval covers $10 million and another €10 million from AfDB and $17 million concessional financing from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a special multi-donor fund managed by AfDB. Additional financing will come from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF).

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Located in El Metbassta, Kairouan North region, this 100-MW project will be developed via a build-own-operate (BOO) approach. It is one of five renewable projects awarded in 2019 by the Tunisia government.

The 100 megawatts Kairouan solar PV project will not only be a pioneer for other grid-based solar and wind independent power projects currently under development in Tunisia but also a benchmark for bankability of renewable energy projects in the country as it is underpinned by robust and sustainable agreements negotiated over the last three years under extremely onerous market conditions.

—said Dr. Kevin Kariuki, Vice President of Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth at AfDB.

Dubai-based AMEA Power will manage the Kairouan solar project. It is a strategic client of AfDB as fostered by the close collaboration between both parties.

According to analysts at AfDB, this financing has reached the highest bankability standards following months of negotiations with Tunisian authorities, offering a helpful framework for future solar projects in Tunisia and speeding up the country's progress toward the 35% clean energy target.

The Kairouan project aligns with Tunisia's Nationally Determined Contribution and goal of reducing carbon emissions through the transition to renewable energy sources. It is also consistent with AfDB's New Deal on Energy for Africa and the "Light up and Power Africa" High-5 strategic priority.

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