Dutch development bank FMO and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have teamed up on a €20mn facility to improve solid waste management practices in Morocco.

Under a new agreement signed on the sidelines of COP22 in Marrakech, FMO and EIB will each provide a €10mn term loan for Morocco’s BMCE Bank to fund solid waste management projects in the North African country. This includes the creation of a number of pre-identified disposal and treatment facilities in several Moroccan cities, which will enable increased recycling and energy generation from landfill gas.

FMO will also provide a so-called technical assistance programme, which includes studies on waste management and on the pre-identified projects. It will also facilitate a mission to the Netherlands for BMCE Bank, its waste management clients and Moroccan regulators to learn about best waste management practices.

Commenting on the facility, Brahim Benjelloun-Touimi, BMCE’s group managing director and chairman of Bank of Africa (of which BMCE is a majority shareholder), says: “This green facility contributes towards the financing of a circular economy in Morocco, with a vision of developing similar partnerships in the African continent through Bank of Africa. We hope that this green loan facility will further herald a new way for businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle.”

It is the first green finance transaction provided by FMO to an African bank, according to the FMO’s CEO Jurgen Rigterink, who envisions further deals in Africa going forward.

“We look forward to maintain our close co-operation with BMCE to support similar initiatives in the Bank of Africa group,” he says. “The constructive and efficient co-operation with the EIB in this transaction is another highlight that bodes well for closer successful co-operation between our institutions in the future.”

Since 2011, the EIB has invested €500mn in Moroccan climate projects, representing 28% of its total investments in the country.

Management of municipal solid waste is one of the major environmental challenges in Morocco, lacking proper infrastructure and suitable funding in areas outside of the big cities. To tackle these issues, the Moroccan government has initiated a national solid waste programme, which aims at 100% household waste collection by 2030 and rehabilitation or closing of all existing disposal sites by 2020.