Posted by: Morocco World News

Morocco will invest over $40 billion in the energy sector by 2030, including in a liquefied natural gas project, according to Morocco’s energy minister.

Minister of Energy, Mines, and Sustainable Development Aziz Rebbah said that $30 billion will be devoted to renewable energy projects, reported Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).

The investment will create great opportunities for the national, regional, and international private sector, he added.

Rebbah was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 11th Arab Energy Conference on Monday, October 1, in Marrakech. The conference, organized by the Arab OPEC, the Ministry of Energy, and other international organizations, discussed energy security in Arab countries.

The minister further indicated that Morocco’s demand for energy is increasing, and the country is almost entirely dependent on imports. Morocco’s overall consumption of primary energy amounted to 20.8 million tons in 2017, including oil (55.9 percent) and coal (25.5 percent).

According to Rebbah, renewable energies, including wind, hydroelectric, and solar energy, contributed 5.8 percent in 2017, compared to only 2.6 percent in 2002. Renewable energies have reduced Morocco’s dependence on energy consumption from 98 percent in 2008 to 93 percent in 2017.

Rebbah also touted Morocco’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Jorf Lasfar, 120 kilometers south of Casablanca.

Jorf Lasfar is the site of OCP Group’s plants.

Rebbah said that 80 companies are currently interested in taking on the LNG project, which is worth $4.5 billion and will soon be put to tender.

USTDA to fund LNG feasibility study

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced on September 26 it gave Morocco a grant supporting the LNG infrastructure development in Morocco by funding “a feasibility study.”

“This project will help meet growing demand for natural gas in Morocco, while creating new business opportunities for U.S. companies,” said Thomas Hardy, USTDA director for congressional and public affairs.

According to Reuters, the LNG terminal will import up to 7 billion cubic metres of gas by 2025, and the project includes building “a jetty, terminal, pipelines and gas-fired power plants.”

The US Lixia Capsia Gestionis firm will conduct the feasibility study “to evaluate building an LNG import terminal and regasification facility that would link to the Maghreb-Europe Gas Pipeline.”

Matthew Meredith, the Lixia Capsia Gestionis managing principal, said, “We are looking forward to working closely with the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco … to advance the energy goals and support the implementation of the Kingdom’s national energy strategy.”

US Chargé d’Affaires in Morocco Stephanie Miley hoped to continue “the excellent cooperation between Morocco and the US “in the energy sector and as in so many other areas.”

“This study will give the Moroccan authorities factual insight on LNG’s future role in the implementation of the Kingdom’s energy strategy,” USTDA quoted the ministry as saying.

The project comes as a part of the Moroccan strategy to diversify energy supplies and reduce Morocco’s dependence on oil and gas. “The U.S. Government is proud to support Morocco’s energy diversification and assist Morocco in providing reliable and efficient energy to its citizens,” said Miley.

By Tarek Bazza