corporate_banner_en

A new landmark in an ancient desert

The blog
Press corner
All press releases
All other news
Press contacts
Events
All events
Business events
Institutional events
Newsletter
Publications
All publications
General
Reports
Information
Human resources
Strategies & procedures
Thematic
Geographical
Technical studies
Ex-post evaluation
Capital markets
Economic research
Ordering a publication
EIB Historical Archives Policy
EFSI Scoreboards
Help
Search criteria - General principles
How to search in the register
Result page
Latest documents
Basic search
Public register
Latest documents
Basic search
Frequently asked questions
Help
Search criteria - General principles
How to search in the register
Result page
Request a document
Other public registers
Picture library
News in pictures
Management Committee's Photos
Werner Hoyer
Dario Scannapieco
Ambroise Fayolle
Andrew McDowell
Vazil Hudák
Alexander Stubb
Emma Navarro
The EIB services
Building
Archives
Former Presidents
Former Vice-presidents
from left to right: Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, CEO,Abraaj Capital Limited, Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz,Vice President, EIB and H.E. Eng. Yarub Qudah, CEO of JEDCO
Greater Manchester Metrolink extension
Mr Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg
Fritz Vahrenholt, Chief Executive Officer, RWE Innogy GmbH, Germany, Karina Veum, Senior Researcher, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, Alistair Buchanan, Group Chief Executive, OFGEM, UK regulator of gas and electricity markets and Frauke Thies, EU Energy Policy Coordinator, Greenpeace
Mr Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen, Vice-President of the EIB
from left to right:Jörg Vogt, CFO, Trianel, Germany (Project: Borkum West II Offshore Wind Park), Pierre Lestienne, CFO, C-Power, Belgium (Project: C-Power near Ostend) and Georg Friedrichs, Vice-President, Head of Offshore Wind Projects, Vattenfall, Germany (Project: Thanet Offshore Wind Farm)
from left to right: Mr Kevin Smith, Director Wind Energy, Det Norske Veritas, Norway, Mr Frank V.Nielsen; Chief Technology Officer, LM Wind Power, Denmark and Mr Konstantin Staschus, Secretary General, European Network of Transmission System Operations for Electricity (ENTSO-E)
from left to right: Mr Rober Harrabin, Environmental Analyst, BBC and Mr Hans-Jörg Bullinger, President, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft of Germany
Mr Paulo Roberto de Oliveira Araujo, Head of Department, BNDES International Division, Mr F. de Paula Coelho, Director of the ALA Department of the EIB and Mr Christophe Nègre, Deputy Head of Division, Legal Department of the EIB
From left to right: Mr. de Paula Coelho, Director of the Asia Latin America Department and Mr Paulo Roberto de Oliveira Araujo, Head of Department, BNDES International Division
From left to right: Mr. de Paula Coelho, Director of the Asia Latin America Department of the EIB and Mr Paulo Roberto de Oliveira Araujo, Head of Department, BNDES International Division
Mr Paulo Roberto de Oliveira Araujo, Head of Department, BNDES International Division
Group picture of the signature Brazil Climate Change Mitigation
Picture of all the participants at the signature EFL loan for SMEs and Mid-Caps III
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Mr ANDRZEJ KRZEMINSKI President of the Management Board- EFL and Mrs FÜRSTENBERG-LUCIUS, Director EIB
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Mr ANDRZEJ KRZEMINSKI President of the Management Board- EFL and Mr Mariusz KOLWAS, Vice-President of the Management Board - EFL
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Mr Andrzej KRZEMINSKI President of the Management Board- EFL Mrs Anita FÜRSTENBERG-LUCIUS, Director EIB Mr Anton ROP, Vice-President of the EIB
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Mr Andrzej KRZEMINSKI President of the Management Board- EFL Mrs Anita FÜRSTENBERG-LUCIUS, Director EIB, Mr Anton ROP, Vice-President of the EIB
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Mr Andrzej KRZEMINSKI President of the Management Board- EFL Mrs Anita FÜRSTENBERG-LUCIUS, Director EIB Mr Anton ROP, Vice-President of the EIB
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Mr Zygmunti TRYBKA, Director of the Financing Department EFL and Mr Piotr KOZIOL, Director of the Legal Department EFL
Group picture of the signature EFL Loan for SMEs and Mid-Caps III
from left to right:Mrs Flavia Palanza, Associate Director for Central and Eastern Africa, EIB, Mr. Jack Nkusi Kayonga, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Bank and Mr Patrick Walsh, Director responsible for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific operations.
from left to right: Mr. Jack Nkusi KAYONGA, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Bank and Mr Patrick Walsh, Director of the Central and Eastern Africa, Pacific Department of the EIB
Mr. Jack Nkusi KAYONGA, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Bank
from left to right:Mrs Flavia Palanza, Associate Director for Central and Eastern Africa, EIB, Mr. Jack Nkusi Kayonga, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Bank and Mr Patrick Walsh, Director responsible for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific operations.
from left to right:Mrs Flavia Palanza, Associate Director for Central and Eastern Africa, EIB, Mr. Jack Nkusi Kayonga, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Bank and Mr Patrick Walsh, Director responsible for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific operations.
J.A.Mannai, Président du Fonds Monétaire Arabe; P.Maystadt, Président de la BEI; A.M.Ali Al-Madani, Président de la Banque Islamique de Développement; F.Baroin, Ministre de l'Economie, des Finances et de l'Industrie; D.Kaberuka, Président de la Banque Africaine de Développement; C.Lagarde, directrice générale du FMI
Photo de la signature
Photo de groupe de la signature
from left to right: Founders and biggest investors:
From left to right: all investors+Fund Manager:
Mr Anton Rop, Vice President of the European Investment Bank
de gauche à droite: M. Othman Ben Arfa, PDG de la STEG, M. Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-président de la BEI et M. Mohamed Nouri Jouini, Ministre du Développement et de la Coopération Internationale
de gauche à droite: M. Othman Ben Arfa, PDG de la STEG et M. Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-président de la BEI
de gauche à droite: M. Othman Ben Arfa, PDG de la Société Tunisienne de l'Electricité et du Gaz , M. Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Vice-président de la BEI et M. Mohamed Nouri Jouini, Ministre du Développement et de la Coopération Internationale
De gauche à droite:
Closing Ceremony Rural Impulse Fund II SA, SICAV-SIF; Luxembourg 1st June 2010
Closing
de gauche à droite: M.Carlos Da Silva Costa ,Vice Président de la BEI et M. Valls i Riera, Président de l'Autoridad Portuaria de Barcelona.
de gauche à droite: Carlos da Silva Costa, vice-président de la BEI et Ignacio Galán, Président d'Iberdrola
M. Philippe Maystadt, Président de la BEI, S.E.M. Premier Ministre de la Serbie et M. Dario Scannapieco, Vice-Président de la BEI à la signature de contrats
M. Philippe Maystadt, Président de la BEI et S.E.M. Mirko CVETKOVIC, Premier Ministre de la République de Serbie à la signature du livre d'or
Mr. I Dalianis, Financial Manager of Symetal ,Mr. K Kontos, General Manager of Symetal , Mr P Sakellaris Vice President of the EIB, Mr. D Kyriakopoulos, Executive Vice President of Elval and Mr. L Varouchas, General Manager of Elval
Mr P.Sakellaris, Vice President of the EIB and Mr D. Kyriakopoulos, Executive Vice President of Elval
Mr P. Sakellaris, Vice President of the EIB and Mr D.Kyriakopoulos, Executive Vice President of Elval
Press conference in Athens today, Mr Plutarchos Sakellaris, Vice President of the EIB
Press conference in Athens today, Mr Plutarchos Sakellaris, Vice President of the EIB
Press conference in Athens today, Mr Plutarchos Sakellaris, Vice President of the EIB
Press conference in Athens today, Mr Plutarchos Sakellaris, Vice President of the EIB
The Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration is launched today
Le Centre de Marseille pour l’Intégration en Méditerranée est inauguré aujourd’hui
Photos
Session on "Modelling Cities and Urban Dynamics" hosted by the EIB-University Action Programme
Projects
Video library
All videos
Podcasts
Open learning
Contact

A new landmark in an ancient desert

    •  Display in:
    • de
    • en
    • fr
  • Available in: de en fr

Jordan’s first big wind farm sets the Arab country on the road to renewable energy success

The desert road follows the route of the ancient spice caravans that converged on the Nabatean city of Petra and of the Bedouin tribesmen who rode with Lawrence of Arabia to capture the southern port of Aqaba in World War I. The mountains rise from the plain, rugged and rose-red, before they dive to the Dead Sea. Amid all this history and natural beauty, Jordan Wind Project Company has created a new feature on the landscape that could have an important role in the country’s future.

Spinning in the winds that sweep across the desert flats, the 55-metre-blades of Jordan Wind Project’s 94-metre-high turbine towers flash against the sun. “They are very beautiful structures,” says Samer Judeh, the company’s 49-year-old chairman.

The Tafila Wind Farm, which takes its name from the local governorate, started commercial operations on 16 September, after 21 months of construction and testing. In the shadow of conflict or civil unrest in neighbouring Syria, Iraq and Egypt, the USD$287 million project defied regional instability just as surely as its towers stand unbent by the desert gusts.

The project’s financial backers, which include the European Union’s bank, the European Investment Bank, believe Tafila’s towers are the sentinels of a new industry that will transform the country’s economy. Jordan aims for renewable energy to contribute 10 percent of its needs by 2020. That’s vital to a country whose energy costs eat up 20 percent of its gross domestic product.

A changeable backdrop

When Jordan Wind Project’s sponsors first considered renewable energy in Jordan in 2011, the picture was very different. The kingdom hadn’t finalized legislation to support renewable energy projects, and it also was short of natural resources. Unlike most of its Arab neighbours, Jordan has no oil reserves and very little natural gas. Traditionally its only major resources were deposits of potash and phosphates mined for use in fertilizers.

Still the company went ahead, backed by its team of sponsors:

The development team found a perfect spot for the wind farm in Tafila, the least populous of Jordan’s government districts and the centre of the biblical kingdom of Edom. East of the tiny village of Gharandil, the company leased land that was previously used very sparsely for grazing goats. The site had no permanent dwellings, little vegetation and no water sources, so people and livestock were unlikely to be much disturbed by development.

But the backdrop got more unstable as the project went on.

  • In 2011, Syria descended into civil war. Jordan found itself host to as many as 750,000 Syrians
  • In the turmoil after the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak the same year, the gas pipeline through the Sinai Desert to Israel and Jordan was sabotaged by local Bedouin. The gas shutdown hit Jordan’s National Electric Power Company, which uses Egyptian gas to produce 58 percent of the kingdom’s power
  • The gas shutdown pushed up electricity prices, sparking riots across Jordan in 2012. Even after Egypt put the pipeline back into operation, gas was often unavailable because of supply shortages or sabotage attacks


Who needs oil?

Even so, the wind farm project excited officials at the European Investment Bank. It fitted EIB’s strategy to make a quarter of its loans to projects aimed at mitigating or adapting to climate change effects.  Wind power replaces sources of energy that emit greenhouse gases.

The EIB insisted that the company perform an in-depth study of the wind farm’s environmental impact. One night at 1 a.m. a Jordan Wind Project negotiator telephoned Cathérine Barberis, who leads Jordan loan operations for the EIB in Luxembourg, concerned that such stringent preparations would delay the project. “It’s more work,” Barberis told her. “But it’ll be worth it.”

In return the EIB agreed to loan Tafila up to $72 million.

The project was a first for Jordan’s government and business community, and EIB officials had to push through uncharted territory too.  “Nobody was in their comfort zone,” Barberis says. “We always had to think of ways to be creative.”

Still the EIB’s requirements made the project more transparent. The bank’s presence, along with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation which also had a leading role in the project, encouraged other investors to join. Tafila is supported by loans from:

It was a Danish company, Vestas Wind Systems, which was selected to provide Tafila’s turbines. The Aarhus-based firm’s V112 turbines now stand sharp against the desert skies.



Migrant birds and local workers

The project’s main environmental issue was the flight paths of migratory birds. Every year a half billion birds pass over Jordan and neighboring countries on their seasonal migration between Africa and Europe. Jordan Wind Project partnered with the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature to assess the risks and to mitigate them so they complied with the EIB’s environmental requirements.

In the end the wind farm buried its electrical cables to prevent electrocuting the birds and decided to shut down the turbines when large migratory flocks approach. Jordan Wind Project staff also agreed to keep a special look out for griffon vultures, which lurk around the area seeking carrion.

EIB officials say they were impressed by the company’s insistence on working closely with the local Bedouin communities around Tafila. This helped align the project with the bank’s social requirements. Jordan Wind Project leased the land for the wind farm from locals and hired 85 percent of its workers from among them. Many of the vehicles and plant used on the project were leased from local people too. “They were very culturally sensitive,” says Barberis.



Next step: more wind, and solar

Now that Tafila is running, its 38 turbines will produce 400 gigawatt hours per year. That’s enough to power more than 83,000 of Jordan’s 1.2 million households. Thankful to be less dependent on imported electricity and Egyptian gas pipeline, National Electric Power (NEPCO) signed a 20-year deal to take all of Tafila’s production.

The project also sets up Jordan to develop an entire renewable energy sector. Working with the EIB and other lenders, the country’s government ministries created the administrative processes to examine and approve new projects. It also built the customs capacity to handle the massive machinery and parts used during construction of the towers in the desert.

The EIB is deeply involved in that future growth already. The bank expects soon to sign a USD$80 million deal with the Jordanian government to finance the infrastructure that connects future renewable energy projects to the country’s electrical grid, a project known as the “NEPCO Green Corridor.”

Judeh says there are 14 “bankable wind-speed locations” in Jordan’s deserts. With the EIB also exploring possibilities for new solar energy projects in Jordan, the tall outline of Tafila’s turbines looks like being only the first landmark of a new industry in the desert kingdom.

Read more about the European Investment Bank and its projects.




 Print