Repowering treatment for the oldest wind farm in Africa

15/11/2022

The oldest utility-scale wind farm in Africa located in Koudia al Baida will double its capacity to 100MW.

In 2009, the Kingdom of Morocco adopted an ambitious plan to develop renewable energy sources with an objective of reaching 52% of total installed capacity from renewable assets by 2030. This programme is designed to answer climate challenges and at the same time to meet rising local energy demand while keeping its import bill under control as more than 90% of primary energy supply is based on fossil-fuel imports.

By 2021, the country had successfully reached 37% of renewable installed capacity. This achievement particularly relies on the wind sector for which the Kingdom is targeting 2,600 MW of installed capacity. Morocco has indeed a very large wind energy potential due to it 3,500 km coastline providing a reliable and steadfast generation source. 

To streamline the power sector's organization and make it fit for such goals, the Government has transferred all renewable assets to MASEN, the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy, which will drive the effort to build up new renewable power capacity. MASEN has recently teamed up with EDF Renewables in Morroco, EDF group's leading global renewable power developer, to repower the oldest utility-scale wind farm in Africa located in Koudia al Baida and to double its capacity to 100MW.

Koudia al Baida is located about 10 km from Tanger in Morocco. Through this repowering, existing turbines will be replaced with a new generation of greater-efficiency wind turbines and will consist in 20 turbines of 5MW each supplied by world-leading turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa. As an independent power producer, the wind farm will sell its electricity under a 20-year contract with MASEN, benefiting from Government support.

After its projected completion in the second quarter of 2024, the annual energy output of the wind farm will meet the needs of approximately 420,000 people while saving the equivalent of 308,000 tons of CO2 that would have been generated by fossil fuels.

Given the size of the project, MASEN and EDF Renewables in Morroco have sought project financing from international lenders, Societe Generale and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as well as a select number of Moroccan banks. Societe Generale, as the sole international commercial lender, took a leading role in the structuring process, bringing to the table its long-standing sectorial expertise and large array of services as Mandated Lead Arranger, Hedge Provider, Global Facility Agent and Offshore Security Agent.

This project is a very high-profile initiative within Morocco given its size, its international dimension and how it directly supports the diversification of the country's power mix.

 

“ We are very proud to reach the financial close and start construction of Koudia Al baida Repowering Project in a global context marked by high inflation and lot of uncertainties. This landmark project is marking a new chapter in the development of renewables in Morocco.

We want to thank all our Partners who participated in this achievement, and we thank Societe Generale for its leading role as sole international commercial lender, and for the agility and the finest professionalism demonstrated by its team. ”

Adil Bouabdallah
Masen Project Director

“ Societe Generale is proud to accompany EDF Renewables and MASEN in developing further renewable power generation in Morocco. This transaction re-affirms our commitment to being a key player in the energy transition on a global scale through our maiden renewables project financing in the country. ”

Yann Le Bot
Energy + Group at Societe Generale

“ We are very honoured to have participated in the funding of this strategic project, which is fully in line with our strategy. The local teams of Societe Generale Morocco and the specialized teams of the Paris-based Corporate and Investment Banking Energies Finance Department working together has enabled us to offer the expertise of an international bank combined with the proximity of a local bank. ”

Yasmina Bennani
Head of financing division SG Morocco