The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is increasing its support to Morocco’s renewable energy sector with a loan of up to €35M to the Office National de l’Electricite et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE).

ONEE will use the funds to finance a rehabilitation programme of 12 small- and medium-sized hydropower plants and the refurbishment of safety elements. It will contribute to the extension of the lifespan of the plants and improve their energy efficiency. The loan is the third transaction between the EBRD and ONEE

Thanks to technical cooperation funded by the Government of Austria, the investment takes into account the risks to hydropower operations resulting from climate change and corresponding climate resilience measures. Described as having ambitious objectives, the project will also provide support to the adoption of environmental and hydrological best practice and enhance the management of the country’s water resources, which are highly exposed to climate change risks.

Laurent Chabrier, the EBRD Director for Morocco, said: "Investing in renewable energy is a priority for the EBRD in Morocco. Extending the lifespan of the country’s hydropower plants in a most environmentally friendly way and increasing their efficiency is crucial to building climate resilience and mitigating risks associated with climate change."

ONEE is Morocco’s state-owned electricity and water company. It not only owns and runs electricity transmission but also manages the collection of sewage and rainwater and water sanitation.

The EBRD started investing in Morocco in 2012. To date, the bank has invested more than €640M in 22 projects across the country, in addition to €130M of trade facilitation credit lines with local banks.