The government or Morocco has held a high-level trade mission in Edinburgh, where it issued an ‘open invitation’ to Scots and Scottish-based companies operating in all main GOR (gas, oil, and renewables) markets to help develop the country’s increasingly liberalised energy markets.
A swathe of Scots companies and organisations flocked to the Moroccan Energy Exchange showcase – including representatives from Glasgow-based Sgurr Energy, Glasgow University’s geo-thermal energy research unit, the Green Investment Bank, Cairn Energy, Wood Mackenzie, Mainstream Renewables, the Scottish government and the Institute of Petroleum Engineering at Heriot Watt university.
The new economic policy being adopted by Morocco places a huge importance to solar and wind energy, and encourages the exploration of petrol and the development of liquefied natural gas.
Morocco has adopted an integrated approach to develop the energy industry which offer huge business potential and partnerships to foreign investors in this sector.
The showcase included presentations on Moroccan energy policy, the emergence of the hydrocarbon industry, gas importation, and the renewable energy sector.
With abundant solar resources (a potential of 2 600 kWh/m²/year) Morocco offers a wide range of investment opportunities in the sector of thermal and photovoltaic solar energy.
For instance, the Moroccan Project of Solar Energy aims to produce 2000 MW of electricity from solar energy by 2020. Also, the Development Program of the Moroccan market for solar water heaters (PROMASOL) is expected to produce 1190 GWh of thermal energy and avoid 920,000 tons of CO2 emission per year.
The policy also provides a range of opportunities for local and international power project developers and contractors, investors and financiers, international oil companies (IOCs) and other participants along the value chain.
The kingdom is seeking to establish an enduring dialogue with British and other energy industry professionals that promotes its long-term, sustainable vision of energy development.
That vision comprises a number of innovative schemes, including Africa’s largest solar complex, to generate 500 megawatts (MW)-plus at Ouarzazate, and the installation of at least 2 gigawatts (GW) of wind power.
It also involves a substantial opening to offshore oil and gas exploration, and plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification plant, which will supply a new generation of combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plants, as well as Morocco’s industrial growth.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has taken a strong personal interest in renewable energy and other technologies and in August this year, the government ended the state monopoly and approved amendments to the renewable energy law which will allow small-scale renewables producers to sell power directly to clients via low- and mid-voltage grids.
The Moroccan energy department has also drawn up preliminary plans for a third 400kV interconnection with Spain, of 700MW capacity, and a new 1GW capacity link with Portugal.
And international oil companies have been invited to drill in Morocco’s under-explored Atlantic Shelf.