Leading technical advisor monitors environmental and social impacts for international lenders at one of Jordan’s first FiT-supported wind projects
London, 28th March 2016 – OST Energy (OST), a leading independent engineering consultancy, has signed a four-year agreement to provide Environmental and Social (E&S) monitoring support throughout construction and early operations at the 86MW Al Rajef Wind Farm under development in Jordan.
The contract, signed with developer Alcazar Energy, will see OST monitor the project’s impact on the surrounding environment and local communities on behalf of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Proparco – the subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) devoted to private-sector funding - and DEG, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Germany’s KfW Group.
Jordan is one of the most promising markets in the Middle East for renewable energy development, thanks to a drive to replace fossil fuel imports with cost-effective domestic energy generation, plentiful wind and solar resources and a growing track record of attracting international investment.
A government Feed-in Tariff (FiT) programme for renewable energy projects was introduced in 2011 and the Al Rajef project in Ma’an governorate will be one of the first wind projects developed under the Round 1 of the scheme, significantly enhancing the nation’s installed wind energy capacity.
As a flagship project, the wind farm will demonstrate its financial value to project stakeholders and investors, and also play a role in illustrating the macroeconomic social and environmental benefits of renewable energy.
In order to assist Al Rajef in fulfilling this role, OST has been appointed on behalf of the project lenders to monitor ongoing compliance with environmental and social requirements in the Environmental and Social Action Plan.
Meeting these E&S requirements will ensure that impacts on the surrounding environment and its wildlife, such as local bird and bat populations, continue to be appropriately mitigated. It will also ensure that the project developer fulfils its responsibilities to the local community, limiting impacts on vulnerable social groups and providing economic opportunities by sourcing labour, materials and equipment locally where possible.
For the duration of the construction and early operational phases at Al Rajef, OST, an expert in helping renewable energy developers improve the sustainability of their projects to meet lenders’ requirements, will assess the progress of the project in hitting its E&S targets, via regular site visits and performance reports.
“In many ways, Jordan is setting the standard for the wider Middle East when it comes to renewable energy development,” said Mark Grundy, Director of Environment & Sustainability at OST Energy.
“The developers and lenders responsible for building the first wind and solar sites in the country have taken a long-term outlook, making a clear commitment to deliver projects that not only promise steady returns for investors, but also impact positively on local communities and the surrounding environment.”
“OST aims to set benchmarks for the sustainable management of new renewable energy installations like Al Rajef in emerging markets worldwide.”
“OST’s international environmental and social expertise played a key role in their appointment as the lenders’ E&S advisor during this critical phase in the project’s development. We are confident that the project will deliver long-term benefits and positive change to local communities,” added Daniel Lancha, Director of Delivery and Operations, Alcazar Energy.
OST has provided E&S support on 3GW of wind and solar projects globally. For more information on the range of due diligence services OST provides to international developers and lenders, please visit: http://www.ostenergy.com/services