Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricite (ONE) is moving ahead with its plans for a 1,000MW wind power programme. It has received three technical bids to build a 150MW wind farm in Taza province, northern Morocco and issued a request for qualification (RFQ) for five additional wind farms.

Taza wind farm will be constructed at a site located 12 kilometres northwest of Taza on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis. ONE will agree a 20-year offtake agreement with the chosen developer.

The following groups have submitted bids to build Taza wind farm:

  • Mitsui (Japan) and EDF Energies Nouvelles (France)
  • International Power (UK) and Nareva (Morocco)
  • Enel Green Power (Italy)

ONE is currently evaluating the technical proposals. It will then request commercial bids, which will be submitted by 14 February. According to ONE’s original bid schedule, project contracts are to be finalised by January 2012 and financial close is to be achieved by July 2012. The project is scheduled for operation by July 2014.

The UK’s GL Garrad Hassan, France’s BNP Paribas and the UK’s Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer are advisers on the project.

The project is part of Morocco’s plan to meet its renewable energy target of 42 per cent of installed capacity based on renewable energy by 2020. The Taza project will add 150MW capacity to Morocco’s wind portfolio. For the remaining 850MW capacity, ONE has launched a tender for five additional wind farms and issued an RFQ to developers for wind farms at the following locations:

  • Tanger II (Tangier): 150MW
  • Midelt (Midelt): 100MW
  • Jbel Lahdid (Essaouira) 200MW
  • Tiskrad (Laayoune): 300MW
  • Boujdour (Boujdour): 100MW

Developers have until 2 March to submit statements of qualifications, which will be opened on the same day. The exact sizes of the projects may change according to the findings of ONE’s studies at the sites. ONE has also said that it may add more projects to the programme at a later date.

The winning bidder will design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the wind farms as independent power projects (IPPs). In addition to the five new wind farms, the developer and turbine supplier must have the capacity to also extend the 50MW Koudia al-Baida AL II wind farm in Abdelkhalek Torres to a total capacity of 200MW.

While the private developer will be responsible for the financing of the projects, funds will be made available through ONE, Societe d’Investissement Energetique (SIE) and Hassan II Fund.