Morocco Desal Finance

Moroccan state utility ONEE is looking to complete €63mn financing for the country’s first independent water producer (IWP) project near Agadir which will include the country’s largest desalination plant. Funding is expected to come from local lender BMCE. Spanish firm Abangoa will be responsible for design, technology and construction, as well as operation and maintenance over 20 years.

Abengoa estimates development costs at €82mn. It says the plant will supply 100,000 cmd of drinking water to Greater Agadir, where tourism, agriculture and industry are expanding. Completion of the plant will take Morocco’s desalination capacity to 1.4mn cmd.

Increasing development threatens to take Morocco’s water resources below the UN’s ‘absolute water scarcity’ level by 2020. Desalination has become a priority despite the high electricity consumption involved: 3-8.5kWh/cu m compared with 0.5kWk/cu m for groundwater supply. Morocco’s power generation sector is already overstretched. (CONTINUED - 268 WORDS)