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Renewable energy projects receive AfDB approval
December 24, 2017, 2:56 pm

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved US$324 million in loan support to two renewable energy projects in Morocco and Côte d'Ivoire as part of its ‘New Deal on Energy for Africa’. The projects are expected to significantly increase power supplies and keep economic growth on track in the two countries involved.

In a continent where more than 600 million people do not have access to electricity, scaling up investments in energy is one of AfDB’s top priority. The bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa is a partnership-driven effort with the aspirational goal of achieving universal access to energy in Africa by 2025.

For Morocco, the Bank's commitment of $265 million will help develop two solar power plants (NOORM I and NOORM II). The two projects with a cumulative capacity of 800MW is being built at a total cost of $2.4 billion, under a public-private partnership (PPP). The solar plants will be connected to the national grid, and will guarantee electricity supplies to more than two million Moroccans, or around 6 percent of the country’s population, and significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

The Côte d'Ivoire Singrobo-Ahouaty project involves the design, construction and operation of a 44MW hydropower plant on the Bandama River. The country's dynamic economy is exerting pressure on power supply, with demand projected to grow by 8 to 9 percent annually. To meet rising domestic and regional demand, Côte d'Ivoire intends to significantly raise its generation capacity, including hydropower.

The approval of both projects underscores the bank's focus on renewable energy in Africa. This year alone the Bank's investments will contribute to 1.4 GW of additional generation capacity exclusively from renewable energy sources.

"These approvals demonstrate once again the bank's leadership on renewable energy in Africa and these projects will be essential to achieving the countries' Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. I believe this sends a strong message ahead of the One Planet Summit on Climate next week in Paris," said AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina.

The bank’s energy agenda has continued to attract international support. In October, the bank's first ‘Light Up and Power Africa’ theme bond, which was issued and sold to Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company of Japan, supports the bank's ambition of bridging the continent's energy deficit.

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