State power company Office National de l'Electricite (ONE)has released plans to set up the country's first solar/thermal power plant. The company in early May invited investors to submit expression of interest by 12 July to develop the station as an independent power plant (IPP - see Tenders).
The solar/thermal hybrid, combined cycle power station will be located in the northeastern city of Ain Beni Mathar, close to the Algerian border. Financing for the 200-MW plant will include a $50 million grant from the Global Environment Fund (GEF), which is jointly managed by the World Bank, the UN Development Programme and the UN Environment Programme.
The project is part of a larger ONE programme to promote renewable energy throughout the country.
The Ain Beni Mathar plant is the third project involving private investors in the local energy sector, which is set to be liberalised by 2004. The other schemes are the 1,356-MW Jorf Lasfar station, Morocco's first IPP, and the semi-private Tahaddart plant, a venture between Germany's Siemens Project Ventures, Spain's Endesa Sevillanaand ONE. The 384-MW Tahaddart station is due on stream in 2003 (MEED 28:12:01).
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