Morocco extends deadline for wind energy

Morocco’s state-run power utility, Office National de l’Electricité (ONE), has extended the deadline for submitting of expression of interest in five wind farm projects to April 20, 2012, L’Economiste reported. ONE extended the deadline, originally set for March 9, after 14 potential candidates requested for more time to choose partners, mainly wind turbine manufacturers, which ONE has required to be included in the bidding consortiums.

The pre-qualification bid was launched for the development, design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the five wind farms with a total power generation capacity of 850 MW, structured under a BOOT (build, own, operate and transfer) scheme, ONE said in a statement.

Bidders who pass the expression-of-interest phase will be invited to bid in an international tender in the second quarter of 2012. The project will be implemented under a public-private partnership with the state-owned entities ONE, the Energy Investments Company and King Hassan Fund.

The tender also includes the separate procurement and maintenance of a 200MW wind farm. Energy-importing Morocco aims to invest MAD 31.5bn (USD 3.6bn) to raise power generation from wind farms to 2,000MW by 2020 from 280MW currently. Earlier, Morocco has embarked on one of the world’s biggest renewable energy development plans involving solar and wind power.

The USD 9bn worth solar power plant is to include five power stations to account for 38% of the country’s installed power generation capacity by 2020. The wind and solar energy development schemes would together reduce Morocco’s annual imports of fossil fuels by 2.5mn tonnes of oil equivalent and prevent emissions of 9mn tonnes of carbon dioxide.