Future of Moroccan wind project remains uncertain

05 July 2010

Country intends to increase installed wind power capacity to 2,000MW by 2020

Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricite (ONE) is still to open the tariff pricing on bids to build the planned 300MW Tarfaya wind farm.

Sources close to the project have indicated that the government is yet to decide whether it will proceed with the project in its current form.

France’s GDF Suez and the UK’s International Power with the local Nareva Holding submitted bids in July 2009 to build the project.

The developers submitted three separate technical and financial and tariff proposals.

The tariff opening was scheduled for the end of March, but was postponed and is still yet to occur. The tender process has experienced many delays since bids were first invited in February 2008.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and European Investment Bank (EIB) are expected to put forward a significant portion of the finance for the project.

ONE’s advisory team is made up of the US’s Chadbourne & Parke for legal, the UK’s HSBC for financial and Garrad Hassan for technical.

International Power’s bid is advised by the UK’s Clifford Chance while France’s GDF Suez has appointed the US’s Vinson & Elkins and Shearman & Sterling to act for its lenders.

Morocco last week celebrated the inauguration of its largest wind farm to date. The 140MW project in Tangier cost around MAD2.75bn ($310m) to build and adds to the country’s installed wind capacity, which currently stands at 280MW.

Along with the project at Tarfaya, the government intends to build projects at a 200MW plant Akhfenir, 50MW facilities at Bab El Oued and Haouma and a 120MW plant at Khallad Jbel.

These projects are unlikely to move forward until the Tarfaya wind farm moves ahead.



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