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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
Free

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
Subscriber

The dispute over the management of Moroccan renewables developer Platinum Power has shifted into a new phase. A 21 March decision by the Casablanca Commercial Court allowing the company to continue trading means that it is now up to a wide group of stakeholders to chart a route out of its difficulties. Chief among these are the company’s creditors, but they also include the shareholders, judicial authorities and even the government.Platinum is developing the Tayaboui and Gao hydro projects in Côte d’Ivoire and the Makay hydro plant in Cameroon.

Morocco
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Ever keen to put a positive spin on developments, the Moroccan government is planning to create a national gas logistics company to make the state a key stakeholder in a new gas sector strategy, which is now planned for introduction “before 2030”. Energy, mines and sustainable development minister Abdelaziz Rabbah told Casablanca business monthly Economie Entreprises that this would promote public-private partnerships (PPPs) in major gas sector developments, adding that tenders were being prepared for advisers to draw up an appropriate PPP platform.

Morocco
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Qatar Petroleum (QP) has continued its international expansion with agreements with Eni to take 25.5% in Block A5A in Mozambique’s Angoche Basin and 30% in the Tarfaya Offshore Shallow licence offshore Morocco.The Mozambique block is adjacent to ExxonMobil’s A5B, in which QP took 10% in December, along with stakes in Z5-C and Z5-D in the Zambezi Basin.In Morocco, Eni is performing geological and geophysical studies as part of the work programme for the first exploration period.

Mozambique | Morocco
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Spain and Morocco have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build a third power interconnector. The proposed 400kV line, with an expected technical capacity of 700MW, will export renewable energy into the European grid, mainly derived from Morocco’s solar power development plan, which in turn will reduce the marginal price of electricity in the Spanish market, according to a statement on 14 February by the Spanish grid operator Red Eléctrica de España (REE).

Morocco
Issue 387 - 28 February 2019

Morocco: Platinum Power in court

Subscriber

The struggle between the shareholders of Morocco’s Platinum Power for control of the company and its important portfolio of power projects in Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon is being played out in the kingdom’s commercial court, where the solvency of the venture and the validity of its governance are under scrutiny.On 19 February, Platinum chief executive Omar Belmamoun failed to attend a hearing at the Casablanca commercial court.

Morocco
Issue 386 - 14 February 2019

Morocco: SDX announces licence awards

Subscriber

SDX Energy has expanded its activities in Morocco with the award of the Moulay Bouchta Ouest and Lalla Mimouna Sud licences in the Gharb Basin. The awards come as the company plans a 12-well exploration and development drilling programme, due to start in H2. The Moulay Bouchta Ouest exploration licence, which SDX will operate with a 75% working interest alongside Onhym with 25%, covers 458km2 and has an initial eight-year term. The area was previously held by Gulfsands Petroleum.

Morocco
Issue 385 - 31 January 2019

Morocco: Platinum under pressure

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Moroccan renewables developer Platinum Power is facing an action for breach of contract in a court in Delaware from its main financial backer. Local media are now reporting that the company is close to bankruptcy and that staff have not been paid for months.Platinum is developing the Tayaboui and Gao hydro projects in Côte d’Ivoire and the Makay hydro plant in Cameroon.

Morocco