OPEC Releases $1.7bn For Energy Projects In Africa, Others

A Nigerian solar plant and an Azerbaijan wind farm were among the 55 projects that received financing worth $1.7 billion from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC Fund for International Development in 2023.

Aligned with the multilateral development finance institution’s Climate Action Plan, support for renewable energy projects constituted nearly 60 per cent of all lending in the energy sector, according to a press release.

The fund supported a $25 million solar plant in Niger, a $50 million 240-megawatt wind farm in Azerbaijan, and contributed $40 million to two wind power plants, totaling 1 gigawatt of renewable energy capacity in Uzbekistan.

The OPEC Fund’s investments in the energy sector included projects dedicated to enhancing energy security in Tanzania and Bangladesh, aligning with the objectives of Sustainable Development Goal 7 ensuring clean and affordable energy access.

Additionally, the allocated capital aimed to tackle pressing issues such as climate change, social and economic resilience, and sustainable growth.

the organisation’s director general, Abdulhamid Al-Khalifa, highlighted the significant impact achieved amid a challenging global environment.

He said: “In 2023, the OPEC Fund increased its impact through the delivery of development support in a challenging global environment. We grew our lending program across the board in response to strong demand by our partner countries and thanks to our success in raising additional funds from the capital markets.”

Al-Khalifa emphasised the organisation’s success in leveraging partnerships with multilateral development banks and institutions, such as the Arab Coordination Group, to mobilise development support.

‘We are well on track with our 2030 target to commit 40 per cent of all new financing to climate action,’ the director general added.

In 2023, the OPEC Fund showcased robust results across diverse regions, with Africa receiving the largest share of investments at 42 per cent

The Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Central Asia collectively accounted for 20 per cent while Latin America and the Caribbean also stood at 20 per cent Asia and the Pacific received 18 per cent.

The organisation employed a mix of public and private sector lending, trade finance, and grant operations.

The lending programme’s focal point last year was policy-based loans, constituting 31 per cent of the total. The transport and storage sector emerged as a key recipient of support, claiming the largest share at 14 per cent.

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