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Utility calls for bids, raises project size and inspires airport authority
1 May 2008
The second round of a call for proposals to develop, install and operate a 100-300 MW wind power plant at Tarfaya on Morocco's windy Atlantic coast has been launched by the state utility, Office National de l'Electricité (ONE). The call was issued to the 16 companies and consortia selected from the pre-qualification round (Windpower Monthly, November 2007). Bids must be in by 15 October, with a decision expected by June 2009. The terms of the project, which will be undertaken as a build operate transfer (BOT) enterprise with a 20-year power purchase agreement with ONE, requires turbines with a rated capacity of at least 850 kW and a completion date of 2010. It must be built in phases of at least 50 MW each, depending on turbine availability. UK-based consultancy Garrad Hassan is acting as technical advisor to ONE, while international bank HSBC will provide financial advice. Meantime, ONE has doubled the maximum size of its proposed wind plant at Touahar, near the northern city of Fez, from 100 MW to 200 MW, which it will offer it as an engineer, procure and construct (EPC) contract. The utility's enthusiasm for wind power is spreading. The Moroccan airports authority, ONDA, has plans to build 10-20 MW under ONE's EnergiePro initiative, which aims to boost private sector participation in electricity supply by encouraging industrial consumers to invest in renewable energy generation for their own needs. ONDA estimates its plant will cost around EUR 25 million, to be financed by the private sector. Power sales will be augmented with revenue from sale of carbon emission reduction certificates. The most likely site is somewhere on the south coast near Essaouira, from where ONE will transmit the power to consumers. ONE is undertaking to pay an incentive tariff for the transit and to buy any surplus electricity at a favourable rate.
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