Dutch impact fund Invest International is providing an Atradius DSB-backed loan supporting the construction of a green ammonia and hydrogen production facility in Morocco, as the North African country seeks to become a major producer of clean energy. 

Proton Ventures, a Rotterdam-headquartered engineering, procurement and construction company that specialises in producing ammonia from green energy sources, will construct the plant in the port town of Jorf Lasfar, west of Casablanca. 

The deal was signed on July 19, and the loan will be used to support Proton Ventures’ working capital requirements. It is backed by a working capital guarantee from Dutch export credit agency Atradius DSB. 

Once complete, the facility is expected to produce four tonnes per day of green ammonia, and for the production of hydrogen, will be equipped with two electrolysers with a capacity of 2MW each, drawing power from solar and wind energy. 

“We are delighted to finance this loan as it seeks to promote Morocco’s economic growth, while making the country a continental hub for future production of green hydrogen,” says Invest International chief executive Joost Oorthuizen. 

“As Europe would in the future need to bring energy from overseas, Morocco is a great place for large-scale hydrogen production as it has a lot of wind, sun and land, which is what we don’t have in Northern Europe.” 

Green hydrogen – produced from renewable electricity – has been touted as a potential alternative to fossil gas in certain sectors, such as industrial activity and heavy-duty or long-distance transport. 

“Ammonia is seen as a perfect energy carrier, because it can store and transport large amounts of energy in an efficient way,” adds Oorthuizen. 

Paul Baan, chief executive officer of Proton Ventures, says the facility will facilitate “further expansions in and outside Morocco” as the energy transition accelerates. 

For Atradius DSB, the deal is also seen as an opportunity to strengthen trade ties between the two countries. 

“We definitely see an uptake in green hydrogen projects with involvement of Dutch engineering,” says Hans de Jonge, underwriter at Atradius DSB, speaking to GTR 

“This is particularly the case for high-growth trade partners of the Netherlands such as Morocco. We are glad that we are able to support Proton Ventures and its Moroccan partners in strengthening the region in its hydrogen trading potential.” 

De Jonge adds that hydrogen expertise in the Netherlands is likely to play a role in other African markets “where demand for clean and reliable fuel is soaring”. 

“By doing this we play our part in contributing to the global energy transition with sustainable finance,” he says.