Complex Made Simple

White & Case advises IFC and lenders on significant series of solar power projects in Jordan

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised International Finance Corporation (IFC) and a group of other lenders on a series of seven solar power projects in Jordan.

Margaret Cole, White & Case executive partner in the United Arab Emirates, said: “We adopted a unique approach, working with IFC to develop a financing model which was rolled out successfully across seven separate photovoltaic solar power projects. Each project developer benefited from this streamlined approach and the resulting efficiency in implementing the financings.”

The seven projects make up the majority of the Round 1 solar power programme in Jordan, which was implemented by the government to encourage the development of renewable energy projects in the country and assist in the diversification of its power generation sources. It is hoped that the success of Round 1 will see Jordan become a leader for renewable energy in the Middle East.

IFC structured different lending groups for each project, including development finance institutions Finnfund, FMO and OFID and prominent regional bank Arab Bank plc and its subsidiary Europe Arab Bank plc. The seven projects involved in the IFC financing programme were Al Zanbaq, Al Ward Al Joury, Zahrat Al Salam, Arabia One, Falcon Ma’an (each located in Ma’an), Jordan Solar One (located in Mafraq) and Shamsuna (located in Aqaba). The total capacity of the seven projects will be in the region of 100 megawatts, with construction due to be completed within the next twelve months.

“Our role with longstanding client IFC involved working in two phases,” said Cole. “We first developed a set of template documents and negotiated these on a group-wide basis, and then refined these documents for each separate project. It was a challenge in a tight timeframe but very satisfying to support IFC’s crucial role in promoting the first series of solar projects in Jordan,” Cole added.

The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partner Margaret Cole (United Arab Emirates) with support from counsel Luke Robottom and associates Matthew Wood, Laleh Shahabi (all United Arab Emirates), Ben Bradstreet, Nic Kennedy (both London) and Ibaad Hakim (Doha).

A team from leading Jordanian firm, Obeidat Freihat, provided local law advice on each project led by partner Tamer Obeidat and assisted by partners Ward Tarawneh and Hussam Al-Kurd and associates Tamara Khutat, Sarah Khatib and Zena Gharaibeh.

The IFC legal team was led by principal counsel Kaizer Karachiwala and chief counsel Walid Labadi, alongside a team of investment officers allocated to each project under the overall leadership of Christopher Cantelmi.