The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the US Overseas Private Investment Company (Opic) have financed a US$270mn power plant in Jordan.

The EBRD has provided US$100mn for the project, with Opic providing a further US$170mn.

The loans will finance the construction and development of the Al Manakher plant, 15km east of Amman. Currently, Jordan imports 95% of its energy and experiences blackouts at times of peak demand.
The transaction will enable it to become more energy-independent, as well as alleviating strain on the electricity network.

The 150MW peaking plant is to be developed by AES Levant, a Jordanian special purpose vehicle which is 60% owned by AES and 40% by Mitsui.

Nandita Parshad, director of power and energy for the EBRD, says: “We are delighted to be financing the EBRD’s first power project in Jordan and indeed in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. This is a region where demand for power is growing fast and it is crucial to secure private sector investment to deliver this vital infrastructure. Jordan faces a real and immediate challenge in securing a stable and reliable power supply, which this plant will meet using the most modern and efficient technology. The project also builds on the EBRD’s long-standing relationship with AES Corporation while giving us the opportunity to begin a partnership with Opic, which has already made such a strong contribution to Jordan’s development.”

Opic’s president Elizabeth Littlefield adds: “Ensuring that Jordan’s citizens have reliable electricity at all times, even during peak usage periods, is a critical service. This project will help Jordan meet that need even as its electricity demand continues to grow.”