Moroccan state utility ONEE signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi’s partially privatized energy firm Taqa on 24 January to extend the power purchase agreement for Units 1-4 of the Jorf Lasfar coal-fired power plant for 17 years, from 2027 to 2044. The units have a combined capacity of 1.356GW and were developed under a 30-year power purchase agreement signed in 1997. Taqa added a further 700MW of coal-fired capacity at the plant in 2014, taking total capacity to 2.056GW (MEES, 26 September 2014).

The deal extends Rabat’s commitment to coal, which provided over 50% of Morocco’s electricity in 2018. Morocco’s lack of hydrocarbons led to its major reliance on coal, which comprises around 40% of generating capacity. Neighboring Algeria is a major exporter of gas with a key export pipeline to Spain even crossing Morocco. But amid frosty relations, Morocco is wary of over-reliance on gas from its eastern neighbor (MEES, 31 January). (CONTINUED - 194 WORDS)