(EnergyAsia, April 26, Thursday) — The World Bank’s board of directors has approved a US$43.2  million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund to the Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Power (ISCCP) Project in Morocco.


The project responds to Morocco’s urgent need for new power generating capacity as the government seeks policies to diversify the power generation mix, to reduce the country’s energy dependence and to integrate into regional and EU markets.


“This project seeks to introduce incentives to drive the technological change to a low carbon economy. The project represents a strategic partnership between the World Bank and Morocco that paves the way for long term technical and financial support in the energy sector,” said Theodore Ahlers, World Bank country director for Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.


The project is co-financed by the National Electricity Utility (ONE) in Morocco, the GEF and the African Development Bank. The project will also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The learning effect of the project will result from the construction and operation and through economies of scale as use of the ISCCP technology spreads.


The project duration is three years.


The National Electricity Utility has been addressing growing concerns over the adverse environmental impact of carbon emissions from conventional power plants.


“ONE has devoted a considerable effort to preparing this project. Through the GEF support, we will be making available the experience gathered in the US and Europe in constructing and operating Solar thermal Power plants to ensure the success and sustainability of this project,” said Nourredine Bouzaher, World Bank senior energy economist and task team leader of the project.