ABU DHABI Jan 29 Abu Dhabi National Energy Co
, the state-owned firm which recently bought some of
BP's North Sea assets, sealed a $1.4 billion financing
for the expansion of its power plant in Morocco.
Jorf Lasfar is the largest coal-fired power plant in the
Middle East and North Africa and the first independent power
producer (IPP) in Morocco, supplying 40 per cent of the
Kingdom's electricity output, TAQA said in a statement.
The financing is the largest in over a decade for an
international project in Morocco with Japanese and Korean export
credit agencies participating for the first time in Moroccan
project finance, the utility and energy firm said.
Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Nippon
Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and Export-Import Bank of
Korea (Korea Eximbank) are providing direct loans and loan
guarantees for more than 50 percent of the total project debt.
Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), BNP Paribas,
Société Générale and Standard Chartered Bank
were the mandated lead arrangers for the credit facilities.
The lenders are funding some 75 per cent of the total
project costs with TAQA committing around $400 million in equity
The 16-year, multi-currency non-recourse debt, maturing in
2028, totals around $1.3 billion with working capital and other
facilities amounting to $100 million.
"TAQA's commitment to meet Morocco's energy needs was not
conditional on financing, as the project is already 80 per cent
complete," Abdulla Saif Al-Nuaimi, vice chairman of TAQA said.
"But this financing shows that, for the right deal with the
right structure, significant non-recourse funds can be attracted
to the Middle East and North Africa at competitive rates."
The expansion of Jorf Lasfar will increase Moroccan power
generation capacity by more than 10 percent.
Construction of the plant began in September 2010, with TAQA
providing interim funding. The expansion is now approximately 80
percent complete and overall costs remain within the $ 1.6
billion budget. The two new units are scheduled to be
commissioned in December 2013 and April 2014.
TAQA, owned 75 percent by the government of Abu Dhabi has
investments in the energy and power sector from India to the
Middle East and Canada. The firm has been active in recent
months buying BP's North Sea assets for $1.3 billion and a 53.2
percent operating interest in an oil block in Iraqi Kurdistan in
It also raised $2 billion from a two-part bond sale in