February 18, 2008 — Chadbourne & Parke is representing the Morocco state-owned utility Office National de l’Electricité (ONE) in connection with an RFP for a 300 MW wind power project to be developed near the coastal town of Tarfaya. The RFP was issued on February 14, 2008.
The size of the project and the fact that Morocco is seen as an ideal location for the development of wind farms has helped raise the profile of this RFP. Morocco, where the demand for power is forecasted to grow by 8% annually for the coming years, is targeting the development of 1000 MW of wind power facilities by 2012. At the completion of the project, the farm will be contracted under a 20-year power purchase agreement with ONE.
Chadbourne is acting as the international legal adviser to ONE on the deal. The Chadbourne team includes London partner Robin Mizrahi and associate Laure Berthelot, as well Los Angeles partner Adam Umanoff and associate John Ha. HSBC are acting as financial advisor and Garrad Hassan as technical adviser, with the respective teams being led by Yusuf Macun and Andrew Garrad.
Chadbourne is a major law firm in the wind power deal market. Over the past year, the Firm has been involved in wind deals worth about $8 billion, involving both M&A and finance and development. Chadbourne also has one of the leading project finance practices in the African power sector. It recently represented the Sithe Global (an affiliate of the Blackstone private equity firm) and IPS Kenya (affiliated with the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development), the sponsors of the US$ 872 million Bujagali hydropower project in Uganda, in connection with the development and financing of the project, which closed in late 2007.
This is the second mandate that Chadbourne has received from ONE. The Firm is currently working on the preparation of a tender for an approximately 1300 MW coal fired IPP, with an estimated cost of over US$1.5 billion.