ONEE, the Moroccan state power and water utility provider, is seeking to develop its renewable stock as well as other efforts to move away from the most polluting forms of fossil fuel. As part of the programme the country is seeking to install a number of combined cycle gas power plants to its electricity mix. Ramboll and Sofregaz are to provide technical advisory to the development of two 1.2 GW plants.
Morocco will invest in liquid petroleum gas capacity in a bid to manage the intermittency that comes with a number of currently developed renewable energy generation types. The country, as part of its national defined contributions aimed at reducing its carbon footprint in line with Paris Agreement efforts, aims to reduce its considerable reliance on particular dirty fossil fuels.
As it stands, 31% of its 8.3 GW of electricity capacity stems from coal, while heavy fuel oil (HFO) contributes 25% of generation, and gas 10%. By 2030 the country intends to have 52% of capacity generated by renewables, including 20% from solar and 20% from wind. Coal and oil are to be relegated to history, falling to 21% and 4% of total generation share – with additional capacity to be filled by gas.
To develop the gas capacity, a tender was sent out last year by state power and water utility ONEE. In total 93 companies contended to develop two plants, each of 1.2 GW capacity. The capacity is part of a wider programme from ONEE to add 6 GW of flexible, largely gas-fired, power generation capacity; 4 GW of interconnectors with neighbouring countries; and 2 GW of pumped hydro by 2030.
The tender is being supported by French-based Sofregaz (infrastructure advisor) and engineering consultancy Ramboll (technical advisor on the project). The work by the contractors will include the connection of natural gas pipelines to the combined cycle power plants, as well as planning for the natural gas underground storage facilities.
Morocco has managed to quickly propel itself into electrification, over the past 18 years electricity access jumped from just 18% of the population to 99% today. The country is also managing to take advantage of the move towards renewables, building a factory to make 6 GW of wind turbine blades – of which 80% of the output will be exported.