WASHINGTON, March 7, 2014 – A grant of US$20 million for Yemen to finance a wind park project at Mocha on Yemen’s Red Sea coast has been approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors. The project consists of the development and construction of a 60 megawatt wind power farm, the first ever for Yemen, which will increase the country’s supply of cost-effective electricity from renewable sources.
A number of development partners have come together to support the project. The Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development will contribute US$65 million, while the OPEC Fund for International Development and the Saudi Fund for Development will each provide US$20 million.
The grant from the World Bank Group will support the construction of the wind power farm as well as consulting services and capacity building to support project and program development through a private-public partnership.
“We are pleased to support Yemen’s first wind power project together with other donors, which will increase the cost-effective electricity supply essential for poverty reduction, job creation, and economic development,” said Wael Zakout, World Bank Country Manager for Yemen. “Increased power supply is critical to Yemen, a country undergoing political and economic transformation towards more equitable growth.”
The implementation of the Mocha Wind Park Project will help Yemen meet its increasing electricity needs with environmentally friendly, renewable energy with the potential of reducing Yemen’s dependence on fossil fuels. Compared to the liquid fuel generation that currently dominates the Yemeni power system, the generation of this lower-cost, wind-powered electricity will contribute toward improving the sector’s financial position and reducing the need for energy subsidies.
This is the first wind power project to be developed and implemented in Yemen and as such its success will have a huge impact on the future of the wind power industry in the country. The project will address a number of institutional, regulatory, financial, and technical barriers in the energy sector, helping lay a solid foundation for Yemen to scale up wind power either through private financing or public-private partnerships.
The grant is part of the Bank’s program in Yemen’s energy sector which includes the development of a strategy that fully reflects the country’s changing needs and goals. . The implementation of the strategy will put the energy sector on a path to sustainable development supporting Yemen’s twin goals of reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity.