HM the King presided over the signing of nine agreements relating to the financing, construction and management of the first plant of Ouarzazate solar complex.
In a convention presided by The Moroccan King Mohammed VI, Monday in Marrakech, to commemorate the signing of documents on the financing, construction and management of the first plant of the solar energy complex of Ouarzazate, CEO of the Moroccan Agency For Solar Energy (MASEN), Mustapha Bakkoury, gave a presentation in which he provided an update of the Moroccan solar plan, the development process of the first plant of the Ouarzazate solar complex, as well as future prospects.
Mr. Bakkoury said the completion of this first plant, built for a sum of 7 billion dirhams (over 800 million dollars), reflects the paramount importance placed by the HM the King on the development of renewable energy as the best way to allow the Kingdom to address the challenges of energy security, environmental protection, and sustainable development.
This is a turning point in the implementation of large-scale renewable energy projects, launched part of Morocco’s energy strategy, which makes the development of this type of energy and energy efficiency a national priority, he said.
After that, HM the King presided over the signing of nine agreements relating to the financing, construction and management of the first plant of Ouarzazate solar complex.
Morocco’s pioneering 160-megawatt solar power plant took a step forward on Monday, securing European financing agreements worth 300 million euros ($385 million), or nearly half of the project’s cost.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), Germany’s KfW bank and the French Development Agency signed the financing accords with Morocco’s solar energy agency, to support the first phase of the whole project.
A joint statement comes shortly after two German firms, Bosch and Siemens, said they were quitting the ambitious Desertec project, to build solar power plants across North Africa and the Middle East, dealing a blow to Europe’s clean energy plans.
Morocco is aiming to become a world-class renewable energy producer, and is eyeing the chance to export clean electricity to neighboring Europe.
European financial support for the Ouarzazate project following Monday’s agreements amounts to 345 million euros, the EIB said, including grants worth 45 million euros already agreed to by the European Union and Germany.
The desert power plant will also be financed by the World Bank, which agreed to a $300-million loan last year, and the African Development Bank.
A Saudi-led consortium won the contract in September to build the first 160-megawatt phase of the Ouarzazate plant, which is expected to cost nearly $1 billion and is slated for completion in late 2014.
A second phase is expected to raise the plant’s generation capacity to 500 megawatts by 2020. It is the first in a series of vast solar energy projects planned in the North African kingdom.