The board of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved the granting of a loan package, consisting of approximately 35.5 million euros to co-finance the construction of a 100 megawatt solar plant in Kairouan in central Tunisia.
The approval concerns USD 10 million. and EUR 10 million. from the bank and USD 17 million. in concessional financing provided through the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a special multi-donor fund whose Bank has the management, AfDB specifies in a press release.
She noted that additional funding will be provided by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank Group, and the Clean Technology Fund (FTC).
The project includes the design, construction and operation of a solar plant with a capacity of 100 megawatts under a “BOO” (build, own, operate) type program, the same source explains. , adding that the project is located in El Metbassta, in the Kairouan North region, about 150 km south of Tunis. It is one of the five green projects that the government has awarded in 2019.
The pioneering nature of the Kairouan solar project
Quoted in the press release, Kevin Kariuki, AfDB vice-president responsible for electricity, energy, climate and green growth, indicated that “the 100 megawatt solar project in Kairouan will not only pioneer other off-grid solar and wind energy projects being developed in Tunisia today, but also a reference for the sustainability of renewable energy projects in the country, because it is supported by strong and durable agreements, negotiated over the last three years under extremely burdensome market conditions”.
And to highlight the success of the transaction, which meets the highest standards of economic viability, after months of negotiations with the Tunisian authorities, providing a useful model for future projects that “will help the country get closer to the 35% clean energy target, as set by the government”.
The Kairouan solar project is in line with Tunisia’s Nationally Determined Contribution and its goal of reducing carbon emissions by focusing on a transition to renewable energy sources. It also responds to the African Development Bank’s “New Deal” on energy for Africa and one of its strategic priorities, the “High-5s”, “light up and power Africa”.