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HM the King presides over the ceremony of presentation of the Moroccan project for solar energy

(City of) Ouarzazate, Nov. 02, 2009- HM King Mohammed VI, accompanied by High Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid, presided,  in the Ouarzazate Convention center, over the ceremony of presentation of the Moroccan project of solar energy, with an investment cost estimated at 9 billion US dollars.
During that ceremony, which took place in the presence of the US State Secretary, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, the Moroccan Minister for Energy, Mining, Water and Environment, Mrs Amina Benkhadra, declared that this “national, ambitious and realistic project aims at establishing by 2020 a capacity of 2.000 megawatts”.
“This production capacity represents 38 percent of the installed power by late 2008 and 14 percent of the electric power by 2020”, added the Minister, who was presenting to H.M. the King the main points of this project.

Five sites have been identified for the launch of that project, which is part of the energy of the strategy set out as per the High Directives of the Sovereign. These sites are those of Ouarzazate, Ain Bni Mathar, Foum Al Oued, Boujdour and Sebkhat Tah.
On the other hand, the General Director the Moroccan National Electricity Office (O.N.E.), Mr. Ali Fassi Fihri, underlined the fact that this project of an international scale shall make it possible to ensure an annual production capacity of 4,500 GW, i.e. 18 percent of the current national production.
The project will be completed by the end of 2019 and date of commissioning of the first plant has been set for 2015, he said.
Thanks to the exploitation of the solar potential, the project will contribute to the reduction of the reliance on energy , environmental preservation, through the limitation of Greenhouse Gases and to climate change control.

After some years,  its will make it possible to save annually in terms of fuel 1 million  Ton Oil Equivalent (toe) and to avoid the emission of 3.7 million tons of CO2.
The Moroccan solar energy project is in sync wit the international trend, which, in the face of a growing energy demand and the challenge of the global warming challenge, makes renewable energies and more particularly solar energy a priority.
Morocco will thus become a reference player  in the field of solar energy through, among others, the satisfaction of the growing demand for energy, the mobilization of its important potential  in terms of renewable energies, solar energy in the first place.

In addition to electric production, this project includes training, technical expertise, R&D, the promotion of an integrated solar industry, and possibly the desalination of sea water.
This large-scale project will be based on targeted and well-balanced public-private partnerships (PPP’s) with reference players. Its implementation shall be entrusted to the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy.

On this occasion, a partnership agreement was signed, in the presence of His Majesty the King, between the shareholders of the Agency.
This agreement was signed by the Moroccan Economy and Finance Minister, M. Salaheddine Mezouar, who was representing also the Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development, as well as by the Minister for Energy, Mining, Water, and Environment, Mrs. Amina Benkhadra, and Mr. Ali Fassi Fihri, Director General of O.N.E. .
This agency will aim in particular at conducting all technical, economic and financial studies which are necessary to the implementation of the program, to place at the later stage with investors the projects which will be adopted in order to ensure the growth of such projects. The agency shall steer the implementation of the program.
That ceremony was attended in particular by the Moroccan Prime Minister, the advisers of HM King Mohammed VI, the presidents of the two chamber of the Parliament, the members of the Government, as well as by representatives of international organizations and bilateral cooperation agencies.