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Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) has invited expressions of interest from consultants by 22 April to conduct detailed studies and establish technical specifications for the 300MW El Menzel pumped-storage hydropower plant in the northern region of Fès-Meknès.The project aims to provide energy storage to help balance the grid and allow for the integration of intermittent renewable energy.

Morocco
Issue 410 - 27 February 2020

Morocco: Predator secures rig

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Jersey-based Predator Oil & Gas Holdings has exercised a rig option with Canada’s Star Valley Drilling for work on its Guercif permit. Star Valley is currently drilling on behalf of SDX Energy in the Rharb Basin west of the Guercif permit using its Rig 101. Rig mobilisation can take place between 15 March and 30 April, unless otherwise agreed, Predator said. Predator operates Guercif with a 75% stake, while the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines holds the other 25%.

Morocco
Issue 410 - 27 February 2020

Morocco: Sound changes tack at Tendrara

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Sound Energy has changed its plans for the Tendrara gas discovery and now plans a fast-track early production project, after plans to sell down a stake in the licence stalled. Sound said it now planned to prioritise early cash flows from the concession from a micro LNG scheme for the TE-5 Horst field with first gas planned for 2021. The micro LNG scheme will be pursued alongside the full field development plan, centred around a 120km pipeline development.

Morocco
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The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) and Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment are seeking expressions of interest (EoIs) from developers to supply some 400MW of solar PV capacity in nine locations, in the first phase of the 800MW Noor PV II project. In a significant change from past practice, the tender is structured under the Law 13-09 framework covering private sector developments. It aims to encourage local investors to develop grid-scale PV projects across the kingdom, using local inputs where possible and creating jobs.

Morocco
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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is seeking expressions of interest from consultants by 24 January for an environmental and social impact assessment of a proposed 300MW pumped storage power plant in El Menzel, northern Morocco. The EBRD announced on 23 December that it was considering providing financing to the Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable for the project in Sefrou province, in the region of Fès-Meknès, alongside the European Investment Bank and Germany’s KfW.

Morocco
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Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) and the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) signed contracts with the Nareva Holding/Enel Green Power developer group on 19 November to build the long-awaited 300MW Boujdour wind farm. While Masen is making steady progress with renewables development, critics say progress is less sure on the legislative framework for private sector renewables, and on the government’s promised gas-to-power (GTP) development programme.

Morocco
Issue 403 - 07 November 2019

Morocco: Sound Energy signs gas sales MoU

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Sound Energy has announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) for gas sales from the Tendrara concession in eastern Morocco. AIM-listed Sound put its eastern Morocco operations up for sale earlier this year after the first two wells of its 2018-19 eastern Morocco exploration campaign failed to achieve commercial gas flow rates.The MoU covers the first 0.5bcm/yr (about 48.4mcf/d) of production, with arrangements for production above this level to be negotiated in the final gas sales agreement (GSA).

Morocco
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AIM-listed Europa Oil & Gas has been awarded the 11,228km2 Inezgane Offshore permit in the Agadir Basin. The block is a newly delineated area offshore Agadir comprising parts of the former Foum Assaka and Tarhazoute Offshore permits. Europa, whose board includes fromer Petroceltic chief executive Brian O’Cathain, will operate the licence with 75%, alongside Morocco’s Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines with 25%. Europa said it was focusing on a Lower Cretaceous fan sand play and had identified a number of large structural traps on the edges of and above salt diapirs.

Morocco
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US-based private equity fund Brookstone Partners has won a decisive victory against its former partners in Casablanca-based Platinum Power which should allow it to eventually assume control of the company’s roster of pipeline projects in Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. The fate of the Moroccan projects is uncertain but the final resolution of the dispute should allow those in other countries to move forwards.

Morocco
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Prequalification has begun for the second phase of the giant Midelt solar project, part of the Noor programme managed by the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen). The Midelt projects employ concentrated solar power (CSP) and solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies to provide cheaper power during the day and meet peak demand.The first 800MW phase was awarded in May to a consortium of France’s EDF, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), and Green of Africa.

Morocco
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Royal Air Maroc’s daily flight from Casablanca to Conakry is packed as Guineans return home and business travellers arrive, including Moroccans meeting King Mohammed VI’s call to expand the kingdom’s commercial footprint south of the Sahara. The airline’s expansion to make Casablanca a major African transport hub is part of a wider strategy that has seen the big three Moroccan banks – Attijariwafa Bank, BMCE Bank of Africa and Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) – buying up African assets, phosphate giant OCP Group investing in Ethiopia and Nigeria, and plans for a gas pipeline linking Nigeria to the Mediterranean coast.

Morocco
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A consortium of EDF Renewables, Masdar and Morocco’s Green of Africa has been awarded a contract for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the Noor Midelt I project. Noor Midelt I will combine concentrated solar power and photovoltaic technologies, with an installed capacity of 800MW and a storage capacity of five hours.

Morocco
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French renewables developer InnoVent has taken its Oualidia wind plant to financial close and started construction despite having no long-term power purchase agreement. It has overcome the hurdles that have prevented many private sector projects developed under renewable energy law 13-09 from advancing by deploying secondhand equipment to keep down costs, and by crowdfunding part of the debt finance.According to data posted on the French crowdfunding website Lendosphere, InnoVent is already building the 35MW Oualidia wind plant (originally conceived as two 18MW plants).

Morocco
Issue 390 - 19 April 2019

Morocco: New licence for Chariot

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AIM-listed Chariot Oil & Gas has been awarded the Lixus Offshore licence containing the Anchois gas discovery and further exploration potential close to the company’s existing onshore acreage.Chariot will operate the licence with a 75% stake, alongside Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines with 25%. The block covers an area of approximately 2,390km2 in northern Morocco, 30km north of Chariot’s existing acreage in water depths ranging from the shore to 850 metres.

Morocco
Issue 389 - 28 March 2019

Morocco: Koudia Al Baida repowering

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The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) has issued a request for proposals (RfP) from contractors for the repowering of the Koudia Al Baida wind farm, which aims to increase capacity at the site to around 120MW from 50MW now. The Koudia Al Baida repowering project involves replacing the 83 existing Vestas V42-600 kW turbines and seven Enercon E40 turbines with new units with a rated power of 3-5MW so as to reach a total capacity of around 120MW while optimising the levelised cost of electricity.

Morocco