Morocco to attract $30bn in energy investments by 2030

North African state will launch a tender for $4.5bn LNG plant to diversify its energy mix

TOPSHOT - People compete in the first stage of the 34th edition of the "Marathon des Sables" (also known as Sahara Marathon) between El Borouj and Tisserdmine in the southern Moroccan Sahara desert, on April 7, 2019.  This event is a six-day, 251 km-long ultramarathon, which is approximately the distance of six regular marathons.  / AFP / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK
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Morocco is aiming to attract around $30 billion (Dh110bn) in investments to its energy sector by 2030 as it looks to add 10GW of renewable capacity as well as develop a liquefied natural gas plant to meet its growing power needs.

"Between 2017 and 2022, we have around $13bn but for 2030 it will be more than $30bn of investment coming from both public and private sectors and coming from many countries," Aziz Rabbah told The National on the sidelines of the Berlin Energy Dialogue.

He added the country was looking to attract investors from China, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, UAE, Saudi Arabia and India.

Morocco, which imports over 90 per cent of its energy needs, has been one of the early adopters of renewable energy in the Middle East and North Africa. The country targets 42 per cent renewables in its energy mix by 2020 and 52 per cent by 2030 - up from 35 per cent presently.

Around 2,000 MW to 3,000 MW of renewable capacity will be added “every three years” until 2030 to meet the country’s ongoing targets, said Mr Rabbah. The country expects to see up to 10GW by the same timeframe.

"For this year we will launch 400MW for private sector, for medium companies,” he added.

Of the renewable sources, 40 per cent of energy generated will be from solar and wind each, with 20 per cent from hydroelectricity.

Besides renewables, Morocco will also look to LNG to diversify its energy sources. The country plans to develop a $4.5bn LNG facility in Jorf Lasfar on the Atlantic coast to meet its growing power needs.

A tender for the project will be launched this year, said Mr Rabbah.

"We’re looking to launch a tender for LNG. I hope we can do this before the end of this year because we’re reviewing the basis because the energy framework is changing very fast. [And we’d like] to have a good tender and good consortiums,” he added.

According to earlier reports, the LNG project includes plans to import up to 7 billion cubic metres of gas by 2025, with infrastructure including jetty, terminal, pipelines as well as gas-fired power plants to be built as part of the scheme.

HSBC Middle East was chosen as financial advisor for the project, Moroccan state utility ONEE said last year.