The Moroccan Agency for Solar Development (Masen) has extended the deadline for technical bids to build a 125MW solar project at Ouarzazate.

The original bid deadline of 8 August has been pushed back to on or after 15 August, to allow more time to comply with the guidelines of international financial institutions.

Masen prequalified the following groups in January (MEED 7:1:10):

  • Abeinsa (Spain), Abengoa Solar (Spain), Mitsui (Japan) and Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (UAE)
  • Enel (Italy) and ACS Servicios Comunicaciones y Energia (Spain)
  • Acwa Power (Saudi Arabia), Aries Ingeniería y Sistemas (Spain) and TSK Electronica y Electricidad (Spain)
  • Orascom Construction Industries (Egypt), Solar Millennium (Germany) and Evonik Steag (US)

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

This is the first phase of the Ouarzazate solar complex and will be based on concentrated solar power (CSP) parabolic trough technologies. It will have a minimum capacity of 125MW and will be online by 2014. The first phase of the Ouarzazite project is expected to cost about the same as the recently financed Shams 1 solar project in Abu Dhabi, which will cost $768m to develop.

Subsequent phases will be launched starting from 2011 and before the end of 2012 to achieve an overall target of 500MW in operation by 2015. At least one of these phases will be dedicated to photovoltaic technologies and another to CSP tower technologies.

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 about 3,300 hectares.

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

Masen launched the tender with the Washington-based IFC and the UK’s Linklaters as advisers. It then replaced these advisers with the US’ Citigroup as financial adviser and France’s Gide Loyrette Nouel as legal adviser (MEED 8:4:11).