The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $324-million in loan support to two renewable-energy projects in Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire that are expected to significantly increase power supply and boost economic growth in those countries.
The loan support is in line with the AfDB’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, which is a partnership-driven effort aimed at scaling up investments in energy in Africa and achieving universal access to energy on the continent by 2025.
In Morocco, the AfDB is committing $265-million to help advance the development of two solar power plants – Noorm I and Noorm II – which are being built at a cost of €2.05-billion.
The two plants will collectively have a capacity of 800 MW and will be operated through a public–private partnership.
The solar plants will be connected to the national grid, and will guarantee electricity supply to more than two-million Moroccans, which is about 6% of the country’s population.
The investment is part of the AfDB’s continued support for Morocco’s $3-billion Noor solar energy programme.
Meanwhile, in Côte d’Ivoire, the AfDB is supporting the design, construction and operation of a 44 MW hydropower plant on the Bandama river.
The country’s dynamic economy is exerting demand pressure on power supply, with demand projected to expand by between 8% and 9% yearly until 2020. To meet rising domestic and regional demand, Côte d’Ivoire intends to significantly expand its generation capacity, including hydropower.
The approval of both projects underscores the bank’s focus on renewable energy in Africa. The AfDB’s investments contributed 1.4 GW of additional generation capacity from renewable-energy sources last year.
AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina says these projects will be essential to achieving the countries’ nationally determined contribution goals under the Paris Agreement.