The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the OCP Group, the world’s largest phosphate-based fertilizer producer, concluded a partnership through a “green loan” agreement to build four solar energy plants.
The OCP Group and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said, in a joint statement, that these solar plants will power the OCP’s industrial activities in Morocco, enabling the group to reduce its carbon footprint and increase its production of green fertilizers.
Under this agreement, which was announced during the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group Spring Meetings in Washington, the Corporation will provide the OCP Group with a €100 million (EUR) loan for the construction of solar power plants in the mining cities of Benguerir and Khouribga, home to Morocco’s largest phosphate reserves.
The plants will have a combined capacity of 202-Megawatt peak (MWp) and will provide clean energy directly to the OCP’s industrial sites.
The project will be implemented by “OCP Green Energy SA,” an OCP subsidiary created in 2022 to develop the company’s renewable energy production activities.
A “green loan” is funding for the implementation of projects where the benefits are evaluated and measured in relation to the environmental objectives established.
This project is an integral part of the OCP’s $13 billion (USD) Green Investment Program aimed at increasing green fertilizer production by leveraging renewable energy and reducing the Group’s emissions by approximately 285 thousand tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per year.
“This unprecedented agreement underlines the Group’s commitment to the global agricultural transition, and investment in reliable and competitive renewable energy is a key pillar of the OCP’s investment plan to achieve its goals in sustainable green fertilizers,” stressed OCP Group CEO, Mostafa Terrab.
Terrab added that “this loan is also a testament to the strong partnership we are building with IFC and the alignment of our institutions with the global challenges of food security and climate change.”
For his part, the International Finance Corporation’s Managing Director, Makhtar Diop, stated that the Corporation is “proud to support the OCP’s efforts to reduce its emissions and ensure a green fertilizer production in Africa.”
“Climate change and food security are deeply interconnected. With this investment, we will contribute to building a more sustainable and secure food system for Africa and the world,” added Diop.
The solar power plants will provide a cost-effective energy source, contributing to the OCP Group’s global competitiveness and low-carbon fertilizer production. The OCP plans to meet 100% of its electricity needs with wind, solar, and cogeneration power by 2027, while the power plants will also support the diversification of Morocco’s electricity sector.
The project aligns with the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Global Food Security Platform, a $6 billion (USD) funding facility launched in 2022 to strengthen the private sector’s capacity to respond to the food crisis and support sustainable food production.
This project will also benefit from the expertise of INNOV’X, an innovation engine launched by Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in 2022, which aims to address global sustainability issues and modern technological challenges by developing innovative companies and efficient ecosystems of high local impact.
In 2021, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) approved a $100 million (USD) loan to the OCP Group to support its subsidiary, OCP Africa, expand the availability of its fertilizers in the continent and improve training in good agricultural practices in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) also accompanied the OCP Group in 2022 during the Group’s process of obtaining the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) certification for gender equality in the workplace.