The World Bank has approved $297m in loans to Morocco to help finance the Ouarzazate solar plant project.

A $200m loan will be provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, with the remaining $97m coming from the Clean Technology Fund.

The 500 MW Ouarzazate complex will be among the largest solar plants in the world and forms a key part of Morocco’s national plan to deploy 2000 MW of solar power generation capacity by 2020.

World Bank group president Robert B. Zoellick said the Ouarzazate project showed “Morocco’s commitment to low-carbon growth and could demonstrate the enormous potential of solar power in the Middle East and North Africa”.

He added: “During a time of transformation in North Africa, this solar project could advance the potential of the technology, create many new jobs across the region, assist the European Union to meet its low-carbon energy targets, and deepen economic and energy integration in the Mediterranean. That’s a multiple winner.”