GDF SUEZ announces construction of 300MW wind farm in Morocco

French multinational electric utility company GDF SUEZ has announced the construction of the 300MW Tarfaya wind farm in Morocco. The project is owned in partnership with Nareva Holding, a Moroccan energy company.

Tarfaya is expected to be fully commissioned at the end of 2014 and will be the largest wind farm in Africa.

It will be located in the coastal desert in southern Morocco. Once completely operational, the project is expected to yield a high load factor of 45%, making it a competitive renewable energy source that will save 900,000 tons of CO2 annually. This farm will represent around 40% of the country’s total wind capacity at commercial operation date.

Moroccan state utility Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) will purchase electricity produced at the facility under a 20-year long-term power purchase agreement on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis.

GDF SUEZ chairman and CEO Gérard Mestrallet noted that the Tarfaya project complements the group’s growth strategy in emerging markets.

“We are pleased to support Morocco’s ambitions to increase its renewable energy sources with this project, which will almost double the country’s wind capacity,” Mestrallet said.

The project will be financed through a combination of equity and local debt financing, with equity shared between GDF SUEZ and Nareva on a 50:50 basis.

A debt financing of €360m provided by a consortium of three Moroccan banks.