Morocco imported 109mn cfd of gas from Algeria in 2016 and Q1 2017, some 93% of the country’s consumption. In theory there is scope for these volumes to rise – gas provides only 6% of Morocco’s primary energy demand. But, in practice, fractious relations between the two Maghreb neighbors – their 1,560 km border is entirely closed with Algeria hosting the ‘government in exile’ of Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara – means that Rabat is loath to increase reliance on Algiers.
Plans to diversify energy supplies take several forms. Some 2GW each of solar and wind capacity is slated to be in place by 2020 (MEES, 23 June 2017), as is 1.7GW of coal-fired capacity. Gas from Algeria is all supplied as offtake from the 11.5 bcm/year-capacity Gas Maghreb Europe (GME) pipeline, which supplies 9 bcm/y of Algerian gas to Spain (MEES, 7April). (CONTINUED - 928 WORDS)