IFC and OCP Group Join Forces in Morocco to Build Solar Plants and Produce Green Fertilizer
IFC and OCP Group, a leading phosphate-based fertilizer producer, announced a landmark green loan partnership to build four solar plants to power OCP’s Morocco operations, reducing the company’s carbon footprint and helping green fertilizer production.
The agreement, announced during the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C., calls for IFC to provide OCP with a green loan of €100 million to construct solar plants in the mining towns Benguerir and Khouribga, which contain Morocco’s largest phosphate reserves.
The plants will have a total capacity of 202-megawatt peak (MWp) and will provide clean energy directly to OCP’s operations. OCP Green Energy SA, a wholly owned OCP subsidiary established in 2022 to develop the company’s renewable energy generation activities, will carry out the project.
A green loan is an environmental project financing in which the benefits are assessed and measured against agreed-upon targets. The project is part of OCP’s $13 billion Green Investment Program. It aims to increase green fertilizer production and transition operations to green energy by 2030, allowing OCP to replace its electricity consumption with green energy and save approximately 285,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per year.
“This ground-breaking agreement underlines our commitment to the global agricultural transition. Investing in reliable and competitive renewable energy is a key pillar of OCP’s investment plan towards our ambitious targets for sustainable green fertilizers,” said OCP Group Chairman and CEO Mostafa Terrab. “Securing this loan is a testimony to the partnership we are building with IFC and the alignment of our institutions addressing the global challenges of food security and climate change simultaneously.”
“We are proud to support OCP’s efforts to reduce emissions and green its fertilizer production in Africa,” said IFC Managing Director Makhtar Diop. “Climate change and food security are deeply intertwined. With this investment, we are helping build a food system for Africa and the world that is both more sustainable and more secure.“
The solar plants will supply a low-cost energy source, helping OCP Group’s overall competitiveness by increasing the production of low-carbon fertilizers. By 2027, OCP intends to meet 100 percent of its electricity needs through wind, solar, and cogeneration. The plants will also help Morocco’s electricity sector to be more resilient and diverse.
The project contributes to the IFC’s mandate of assisting emerging countries in obtaining private capital to implement climate-friendly projects, decarbonize their economies, and adapt to a warming planet.
IFC has committed to increasing its climate-related investments to an annual average of 35% of its own-account long-term commitment volume between 2021 and 2025, as well as collaborating with financial institutions to finance projects that support climate change mitigation and adaptation.
This project also aligns with the IFC’s Global Food Security Platform, a $6 billion financing facility launched in 2022 to strengthen the private sector’s ability to respond to the food crisis and support sustainable food production.
The project will also draw on the expertise of INNOV’X, a Mohammed VI Polytechnic University innovation engine launched in 2022 to develop innovative and sustainable businesses and ecosystems with a strong local impact.
IFC granted OCP a $100 million loan in 2021 to support its subsidiary, OCP Africa, in increasing fertilizer availability and improving training on local soils and crops in Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania. IFC also assisted OCP in obtaining EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality) certification in 2022 for gender equality.