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Saudi authorities have released Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi after more than 14 months in detention, initially in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, in the corruption purge ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud. As with other business figures held in November 2017, Al-Amoudi seems to have engineered his release in a settlement process involving the transfer of cash and assets. “He paid and he paid a lot,” the Wall Street Journal quoted “a person familiar with Amoudi’s situation” saying.

Ethiopia | Morocco
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Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) has invited prequalification applications by 12 February for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Noor Atlas solar photovoltaic project, comprising seven plants with a total capacity of around 200MWp. The seven projects, with capacity of 20MWp-30MWp each, are being offered in two lots. The first lot seeks bids for projects in Ain Beni Mathar, Bouanane, Boudnib, Boulmane (Enjil) and Outat El Haj in eastern Morocco.

Morocco
Issue 384 - 17 January 2019

Nigeria-Morocco pipeline study

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Morocco’s Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have given Penspen a new contract for a project to build a gas pipeline system that would eventually run some 5,700km from Nigeria to Morocco’s Mediterranean coast.

Nigeria | Morocco
Issue 407 - 16 January 2019

Morocco: Tender to rehabilitate dams

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Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) invites bids by 25 March for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of hydromechanical and electrical rehabilitation works at the Bin El Ouidane and Ait Ouarda dams on the El Abid River in the Béni Mellal-Khénifra region. The contracted work, which is expected to take 18 months, is to be financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which agreed in November 2015 to provide a sovereign-guaranteed loan of up to €35m ($39m) to finance the ONEE Hydro Rehabilitation Project.

Morocco
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Jersey-based Predator Oil & Gas Holdings has announced that Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (Onhym) has accepted its licence application for Guercif permits I-IV. The four onshore permits cover an area of 7,269km² east of the Gharb Basin gas fields and north-west of Sound Energy’s Tendrara gas project. The licence will be formally awarded once Predator has provided a bank guarantee, the company said. Predator will operate the licence through its wholly owned subsidiary Predator Gas Ventures with 75%, while Onhym will hold the other 25%.

Morocco
Free

The African Development Bank and Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) on 7 November signed a letter of intent to cooperate on the development of the Desert to Power initiative. The initiative targets countries in the Sahel to strengthen regional integration, transfer of technology, capacity building, technical assistance, and project development in renewable energy and resource mobilisation.

Morocco
Issue 380 - 08 November 2018

Moroccan budget woes drive asset sale

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Recently appointed finance minister Mohammed Benchaâboun is tackling Morocco’s burgeoning budget deficit with reforms that some local observers are calling Thatcherite. The former banker expects to raise funds by divesting the state’s remaining saleable assets, with major privatisations for the first time in a decade.

Morocco
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A campaign group based in Galway and London has filed a complaint with the Irish government claiming that San Leon Energy is in breach of the guidelines for multinational enterprises set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) due to its activities in the onshore Tarfaya and Zag licence areas. On 24 October, Global Legal Action Network (Glan) approached the Irish government’s National Contact Point (NCP), which is based in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and deals with corporate adherence to the OECD’s guidelines.

Morocco
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The Casablanca commercial court is moving ahead with the liquidation of Mohammedia-based refinery company Société Anonyme Marocaine de l’Industrie du Raffinage (Samir) as legal actions continue on several fronts, including two arbitrations in the Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (Icsid). A number of offers have been made for the plant, which has been closed since 2015, but it is unclear if any have met the liquidator’s criteria.

Morocco
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New York-based start-up Soluna Technologies, run by serial entrepreneur John Belizaire and backed by US private equity company Brookstone Partners, is raising funds to develop the first phase of an eventual 900MW wind farm site near Dakhla in the disputed Western Sahara, which is under Moroccan administration but still subject to a United Nations decolonisation mandate.Soluna is bringing in investors to develop the first 36MW of the scheme, which at the outset will be entirely off-grid.

Morocco
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Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) has invited bids by 16 January 2019 for the rehabilitation of valves and ancillary works for the 17MW Daourat storage hydropower plant on the Oum Er-Rbia River near Settat. The plant, which is equipped with two 8.5MW turbines, was commissioned in 1950.

Morocco
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The Energy Ministry has given developer Platinum Power six new provisional authorisations for hydro sites in the country. The permits cover two sites on the Ahansal River in Azilal province – Tamajout (30MW) and Tilougguit Lower (30MW) – as well as two sites – Bab Ouender (30MW) in northern Morocco and Boutferda (18MW) east of Beni Mellal – that had previously received permits limiting their generation capacity to 12MW.

Morocco
Issue 374 - 27 July 2018

Morocco/Mauritania: Grid link talks

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Morocco is talking to the Mauritanian government about an interconnection that would bring Société Mauritanienne d’Electricité (Somelec) into the North African Maghreb Electricity Committee (Comelec) grid. An interconnection would also link Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable into the growing West African grid, Moroccan energy, mines and sustainable development minister Abdelaziz Rabbah told the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in June.

Mauritania | Morocco
Issue 374 - 27 July 2018

Morocco: EBRD loan for SDX Energy

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AIM-listed SDX Energy has obtained European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) funding for its gas network expansion plans. The company signed a three-year $10m reserves-based lending credit facility on 18 July to finance the expansion of upstream gas production and related gas transport infrastructure to customers in the Kenitra industrial zone. SDX said the loan had an “accordion” feature taking total potential availability up to $20m.

Morocco
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Saudi developer Acwa Power on 29 June inaugurated its 120MW Khalladi wind farm at Jbel Sendouq, 30km from Tangiers. The completed project comprises 40 wind turbines and will produce 380GWh/yr, contributing to the reduction of more than 144,000 t/yr of CO2. Khalladi, which cost around $170m to build, is one of the first privately funded renewable energy projects in Morocco and has been developed under Law 13-09, which allows private producers to sell electricity directly to high-voltage clients.

Morocco