September 9 (SeeNews) - Morocco will launch a tender for the build-up of 850 MW in wind power capacity "within weeks", an informed source at the Moroccan electricity and water utility company (ONEE) told local daily L'economiste.
ONEE has already shortlisted several major groups that met the pre-qualification requirements. These include Spanish Acciona Energia and Acciona Wind Power, France's EDF Energies Nouvelles with Qatar Electricity and Water Company, Fipar Holding, and Alstom Wind as well as the Saudi group International Company for Water and Power Project in cooperation with Gamesa Eolica Sl. Among the shortlisted are also UK's International Power PLC with International Power LTD (UAE) and Vestas France SAS. Last but not least, Moroccan Nareva Holding has joined forces with Enel Green Power and Siemens Wind Power AS.
Commissioning of the tender projects is expected between 2017 and 2019.
Morocco currently has an installed wind power capacity of 787 MW with the latest 300 MW addition commissioned at the end of 2014.
The 300 MW Tarfaya wind farm was developed by Tarec (Trarfaya Energy Company), a 50/50 joint venture of Nareva Holding and International Power Ltd. The site comprises 131 Siemens turbines and spreads on an area of 728 hectares. Its power output is estimated at over 1,000 GWh per year. Tarfaya cost MAD 5 billion (USD 514m/EUR 460m) to build and created 500 permanent jobs.
Thanks to this project Morocco is now a regional leader in terms of installed wind power capacity, followed by Egypt with 650 MW and Tunisia with 240 MW.