Moroccan utility Office National de l’Electricite (ONE) has received five bids from banks seeking to act as financial adviser on the expansion of the Jorf Lasfar independent power project (IPP).

The UK’s HSBC and France’s Calyon have submitted the lowest bids. Other bids came from the US’ Citigroup and Lazard and Rothschild, both of the UK.

The winner of the mandate will advise ONE on a project to expand the production capacity of Jorf Lasfar by 700MW, from its current capacity of 1,400MW.

The Jorf Lasfar plant, which is southwest of Casablanca, is owned by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa), which appointed France’s BNP Paribas as its adviser on the expansion scheme in November 2009.

Taqa, which bought the plant from the US’ CMS Generation in 2007, signed the contract to expand the plant in May 2009 (MEED 13:05:09).

The plant was built in 1998 with a project finance loan of $1bn, making it one of the first IPPs in the region (MEED 30:01:98).

Once a financial adviser has been appointed they will help ONE and Taqa decide whether the work should be financed by a extension to the existing financing, or with a new facility.