Morocco replaces advisers for solar project

04 April 2011

Citibank and Gide Loyrette Nouelto advise on Ouarzazate 125MW solar project

Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricité (ONE) has brought in the US’ Citigroup as financial adviser and France’s Gide Loyrette Nouel as legal adviser to complete the tendering and financing of a concentrated solar project (CSP) at Ouarzazate.

Washington-based IFC and the UK’s Linklaters advised on the preliminary tender stage up to the end of qualification of developers.

ONE prequalified the following companies to develop the project in January:

  • 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 Millenium (Germany) and Evonik Steag (US)

Morocco prequalifies groups for solar project

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

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

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

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