Acciona will build one of Africa’s biggest Concentrating Solar Power plants

The Concentrating Solar Power plant will have a maximum installed capacity of 160MW, at an investment of around 500 million euro.

Moroccan Government’s Solar Energy Agency (Masen) has selected a project led by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power, and made up of a number of companies including Spain’s TSK and Aires, as Preferred Bidder for the first stage of the Ouarzazate Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Complex, in Morocco. The group of companies that will be taking part in the project as Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor is the wholly-Spanish consortium made up of ACCIONA (37%), TSK and Sener. This consortium will be in charge of the construction and bringing into service of the new CSP plant.

The CSP Complex will be located near the city of Ouarzazate, at the edge of the Sahara Desert and among the foothills of the Atlas mountain range, a remote location that offers outstanding solar and environmental conditions. The 500 million euro facility will have an installed capacity of 160MW and will make use of SENERtrough cylindrical-parabolic collector technology and a molten salts storage system capable of generating electricity even in the absence of sunlight. The plant’s solar-capture technology base will be 100% made in Spain.

The construction and bringing into service of the CSP facility is expected to take 28 months. The EPC construction consortium’s experience in electrical power generation-internationally and in general-comes as a guarantee of the project’s success.

ACCIONA has longstanding experience in complex construction projects, handling contract structures with a number of parties at a time and in multicultural environments. ACCIONA is a colossal player in the fields of development, construction and management of solar and renewables facilities. The Company is more than familiar with the technology used by this particular facility-cylindrical-parabolic collector technology-, as ACCIONA has developed facilities using similar technology in Spain and abroad in both owned- and third-party plants.

As Preferred Bidder, the consortium has the right to negotiate the financing of the CSP plant with Masen and a group of international finance institutions led by the World Bank, which will be providing most of the capital in the form of debt. Acwa Power will be managing the Project Finance after obtaining the go-ahead and the commitment to purchase energy (at a fixed tariff and for a 25-year period) from the Moroccan Government. This process is expected to last around five months, after which construction work will be able to get under way.

This is ACCIONA’s fourth contract on the African continent this year; recently, South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) selected another project led by Saudi Arabia’s Acwa power as Preferred Bidder for developing the 50MW Bokpoort CSP facility, not far from the city of Upington. The EPC contractor of the group of companies taking part in the project is a consortium comprising ACCIONA, Crowie, Sener and TSK, who will be responsible for the construction and bringing into service of the power plant. Construction on the Bokpoort facility and the bringing into service of the plant will take 30 months, with a cost of around 300 million euros.

In addition, two projects presented by ACCIONA Energy and Aveng-Africa’s biggest Infrastructure group-were selected by South Africa’s DoE in the second round of an international tender for the promotion of renewable energies in the country (the Independent Power Producers Renewable Bid — IPP REBID). The facilities awarded were a solar farm (135.2MW net/138MW nominal) and a PV solar plant (74 MW/94 MWp), scheduled for completion sometime between 2013 and 2014.