Morocco LNG Project Delayed, Future Gas Supply Strategy In Doubt

Morocco is stepping up plans for a 5 bcm/year LNG import terminal at the Jorf Lasfar port, which became sidelined during six months of political deadlock. With political progress possible once again, the kingdom is now hoping to start importing the cooled fuel in 2023, two years later than initially planned.

King Mohammed VI appointed a new coalition government on 5 April led by the main Islamist Justice and Development (PJD) party. This has revived hopes for LNG imports to Morocco, with state utility ONEE appointing advisors to restart the process.

The PJD won parliamentary elections in October 2016, but failed to form a government with other rival parties, stalling parliamentary functions and putting the brakes on the economy. Now a new cabinet headed by Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani, from the PJD, will consist of 39 ministers including nine women. The PJD will retain several ministries. Former minister of energy and mines Abdelkader Amara will be swapping his role with Azziz Rebbah, who was in charge of transportation and equipment. (CONTINUED - 1103 WORDS)