German development bank KfW has signed off a €100 million loan to Morocco’s solar energy agency MASEN to build a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the south-central area of the country.
The 160MW solar thermal plant will be constructed in Ouarzazate, with further planned plants expected to take the total in the area up to 500MW.
The investment costs for this initial phase amount to about €750 million (US$960 million). Along with the KfW, on behalf of the German government, other project participants include the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), French development bank AFD, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
Norbert Kloppenburg, a member of the executive board of KfW, said: “By constructing this power plant Morocco is providing a breakthrough for a low-carbon and climate-friendly future technology, while simultaneously reducing the country's high dependence on energy imports.
Although manufacturers Siemens and Bosch both recently announced their intention to pull out of the Desertec project, the deal between KfW and MASEN suggests the development of CSP in North Africa is still a viable prospect.