Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, TAQA, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Jorf Lasfar Energy Company 5&6 SA, has signed financing arrangements for USD 1.4 billion equivalent of 16-year, multi-currency non-recourse project financing for the 700 MW expansion of TAQA’s Jorf Lasfar coal-fired power complex in Morocco.
BNP Paribas, Société Générale and Standard Chartered Bank are the mandated lead arrangers for the international debt facilities, while Morocco’s Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) is the mandated lead arranger for the Moroccan Dirham credit facilities, representing approximately 40% of the total debt. Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea Eximbank) will provide direct loans and loan guarantees for more than 50% of the total project debt. This is the first time the Japanese and Korean export credit agencies have participated in a project finance transaction in Morocco.
Jorf Lasfar is the largest coal-fired power complex in the MENA region and the first independent power producer (IPP) in Morocco. The expansion is a key infrastructure project for Morocco’s energy strategy intended to meet the needs of ONEE (Office National de l’Electricité & de l’Eau Potable) and to increase the country’s installed electricity generation capacity. The 700 MW expansion will bring Jorf Lasfar’s gross capacity to 2,056 MW.
TAQA’s roots lie in the provision of power generation and water desalination capabilities in Abu Dhabi, and this has remained a key part of its business. TAQA brings world class technical and operational expertise and a proven track record in developing challenging power projects. TAQA’s growing international power business is a core part of TAQA’s expanding portfolio across the MENA region.
Frank Perez, Executive Officer and TAQA’s Head of Power & Water said: “This announcement marks a significant milestone in TAQA’s development as a major provider of power generation in Morocco and across the MENA region. We are excited to play a crucial role in the national energy strategy of a rapidly growing country like Morocco. Despite the on-going instability in global financial markets we have successfully secured sophisticated international financing arrangements from Asian, European, and Moroccan lenders across multiple currencies totalling USD 1.4 billion equivalent. Our profile, as the sponsor, developer, and operator of this significant infrastructure project together with ONEE and the Moroccan Government's support, has undoubtedly helped secure favourable terms.”
The long-term debt, maturing in 2028, represents the equivalent of USD 1.3 billion. The medium-term debt, maturing in 2014, will amount to the equivalent of USD 100 million.
The expansion units 5 and 6 are scheduled to be commissioned in December 2013 and April 2014 respectively. The EPC contract for the expansion was awarded to Mitsui & Co (Japan) and Daewoo Engineering & Construction (Korea) in 2010. The expansion is expected to generate 3,000 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs during construction. In the long term, the new units are expected to provide 135 jobs while providing indirect employment to 1,000 people.