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Construction begins on 160 MW CSP plant in Morocco

Construction on Morocco's 160 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant project in Ouarzazate began on Friday with a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony by King Mohammed VI.
Built by a consortium led by Saudi Arabian ACWA Power, Ouarzazate 1 is set to go online in 2015. The German government has pledged EUR 115 million in support for Morocco's ambitious project.

A stalwart supporter of Morocco's renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts for years, Germany has become Europe's most significant partner in the building of the 160 MW Ouarzazate 1 facility.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development are both supporting Morocco in realizing the project, which aims to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the country. The German environment ministry is providing EUR 15 million through KfW Development Bank towards the project as part of the International Climate Initiative while the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is granting low-interest loans totaling EUR 100 million.

The construction of the Ouarzazate plant is the first step in the country's implementation of a solar power plan that will see 2,000 MW of power generation capacity by 2020.

Along with the expansion of wind energy generation, the country could already see half of its electricity supply from renewable energy sources by 2020.

The first phase of the project has received a total of EUR 345 million in backing from Europe, including €100 million from the European Investment Bank, EUR 30 million from the European Union and EUR 100 million from the French Development Agency (AFD).

Morocco is building the plant in several stages. The German government will continue to support the expansion of solar power in Morocco with a further EUR 650 million in the coming years.

Additional information:
News date: 10/05/2013

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