The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen) has received 18 responses to a request for qualification (RFQ) to build its planned 500MW solar facility in central Ouarzazate.

The selected bidder will design, build, operate, maintain and finance either a single project or a cluster of facilities.

Masen says it expects to have a list of prequalified companies in place by 17 November, although sources close to the process say companies expect to be informed if they are prequalified ahead of that date. The request for proposals (RFP) should then be issued before the end of the year.

Consortiums that responded to the RFQ are:

  • Abeinsa Ingenieria y Construccion Industrial (Spain), Abengoa Solar (Spain), Mitsui & Co (Japan) and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (UAE)
  • Cromasolar International Energy Group (Spain)
  • Delta Holding (Serbia), Energy Consulting Group (Switzerland) and Socoin (Spain)
  • Enel (Italy) and ACS Servicios Comunicaciones y Energia (Spain)
  • Entrepose Contracting (France), IWB (US), Solar Euromed (France), Novatec Biosol (Germany), Cegelec Maroc (Morocco) and General Electric Oil & Gas (US)
  • Forclum (France),  Groupe Eiffage (France), STEG International Services (Tunisia), BrightSource Energy (US), CNIM (France), Caisse des Depots et Consignations (France), Alstom (France), Nur Energie (UK), SGTM (Morocco) and Brookstone Partners (US)
  • Infra Invest (Russia)
  • Acwa Power International (Saudi Arabia), Aries Ingeniería y Sistemas (Spain) and TSK Electronica y Electricidad (Spain)
  • International Power (UK), Nareva Holding (Morocco), Marubeni Corporation (Japan)and Siemens Project Ventures (Germany)
  • JGC Corporation (Japan)
  • Korea Midland Power (South Korea), Daewoo Engineering Company (South Korea) and ABB (Switzerland)
  • Litwin (France), SEEM Group (Turkey), M+W Group (Germany), Ynna Holding (Morocco) and Sytelco (France)
  • Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan) and Auto Hall (Morocco)
  • Orascom Construction Industries (Egypt), Solar Millenium (Germany) and Evonik Steag (US)
  • Shenzhen Xintian Solar Technology Company (China)
  • SNC-Lavalin (Canada)
  • SolarReserve (US) and Veolia (France)
  • Torresol Energy Investments (Spain) and Sener Ingenieria y Sistemas (Spain)

The 500MW scheme will use a combination of thermal solar and photovoltaic solar technology. A minimum of 125MW must be thermal solar and should be online by 2014. The remaining power capacity will be photovoltaic and is to be launched before the end of 2012 so that the complete scheme is online by early 2015.

The 500MW scheme will use a combination of thermal solar and photovoltaic solar technology

The planned site is located in the Tamezghitene area of Morocco, approximately 10 kilometres northeast of the city of Ouarzazate. The project will cover an area of around 3,300 hectares.

The region receives around 7.22 kWh radiation per square metre a day and the Mansour Eddahbi dam is 4km away. The dam will be a useful resource for the project because access to water is important for running concentrated solar power facilities.

The site is also close to existing 225/60kV high-voltage transmission lines.

The Ouarzazate project was originally sponsored by Morocco’s Office National de l’ Electricite (ONE), but was transferred to the newly created Masen under the Moroccan law 57/09 to be developed as an independent power project (IPP).

More than 180 companies responded to the request for expressions of interest for the scheme when it was launched in March. The large number of responses was a result of loose definitions of the project in documents released to prospective bidders, including the size and nature of the project, says one source close to the scheme. The RFQ was issued in August (MEED 5:8:10).