TAQA wins contract to supply electricity to morocco for 17 more years

MOROCCO – Abu Dhabi-owned company, TAQA Morocco, has signed an agreement with Morocco’s National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water to continue supplying the country with electricity for another 17 years.

The contract extension which will now be valid till 2044 will in effect extend the life of the Jorf Lasfar power station which is owned by TAQA.

The Jorf Lasfar thermal power plant has an overall capacity of 2,056 megawatts (MW), helping to meet more than 40% of Morocco’s national electricity needs.

“We are proud to be a reliable and strategic partner to the Moroccan government. Our investment in Morocco further underscores our commitment to investing in and deploying best-in-class solutions across our business,” said the chairman of Abu Dhabi’s national energy company TAQA, Saeed Mubarak Al Hajeri.

The Jorf Lasfar power station imports more than 5.4 million tons of coal per year, and has a coal park with a storage capacity of one million tons.

The plant according to a local daily, plays an important role in dealing with Morocco’s increasing energy demands.

The plant is located in close proximity to the Jorf Lasfar Port where  85% of Moroccan coal imports pass through.

While the Jorf Lasfar plays an important installation for Morocco’s economy, it represents several threats for public health and ecology as it is a major emitter of the harmful sulfur dioxide gas.

In August 2019, Greenpeace, an international non-governmental organization with environmental aims, ranked Morocco 25th in the list of countries with the most Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions in 2018.

The industrial zone where the Jorf Lasfar plant is located ranked first nationally among the highest emitters of SO2, followed by the industrial zones of Mohammedia and Settat.

The main source of SO2 emissions is the burning of fossil fuels in power plants and other industrial facilities.

Exposure to the gas can cause irritations in the nose, throat, and the airways, causing coughs, wheezes, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling around the chest.

In June 2019, Morocco’s former Secretary of State for Sustainable Development, Nezha El Ouafi, said that the economic cost of air pollution in Morocco is estimated at 1.62% of the country’s GDP.

To address the challenges of thermal electricity, Morocco has launched several green energy projects in various parts of the Kingdom.

Earlier this month, the Moroccan Agency for Renewable Energy (MASEN) revealed that Morocco’s renewable energy capacity reached 3,685 MW by the end of 2019.

The number brings Morocco closer to its goal of 6,000 MW capacity by 2020. Morocco aims to make 42% of its energy production renewable in 2020 and increase to 52% by 2030.

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