By Sekar Krisnauli
Rabat – ACWA Power Khalladi announced that it has approved final orders to suppliers and contractors for the Khalladi Wind Power Project in the Northern region of Morocco since construction began November 2015, according to a Monday press release.
Khalladi is scheduled to begin commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016, as stated in the ACWA Power website.
Proposed project of the 120 MW Wind Power Farm located in Jbel Sendouq – Khalladi, the first privately funded wind farm in Morocco, was made possible under the newly adopted regulation in March 2010 titled Law 13.09, according to the project’s 2012 Project Design Document. The law allowed opening the market of renewable energy to the private sector as Khalladi will be able to sell their electricity directly to high voltage and medium voltage grid to a pool of clients.
“Our investment in Morocco is for the long run,” Rajit Nanda, ACWA’s chief investment officer, stated in the release. “…we will be contributing even further to the transformation of the energy sector Morocco is undergoing in alignment with its national strategy.”
Morocco’s Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment Abdelkader Amara said that the Kingdom plans to derive more than half of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, The National reported. The release further mentioned Morocco’s wind power expansion plan that aims for 2,000 MW wind power capacity by 2020.
According to the PDD, Khalladi is estimated to produce the net expected electricity at 296,100 MWh/year2. The production will be for the use of UPC Renewables’ clients through the national grid and will substitute electricity currently supplied by the Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE).
Construction of Khalladi began following confirmation that the project had achieved financing from Banque Marocaine du Commerce Extérieur (BMCE) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for a loan of €126 million , The Wind Power Monthly reported.
Located 30 km East of Tangiers, the wind farm will consist of 40 turbines of 3 MW each supplied by the wind turbine company Vestas and cost a total of €163 million or approximately MAD 1,771 million. The rest of the €37 million will be financed by shareholders; ACWA Power, Saudi Arabia’s power plant developer, ARIF, a North-Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa infrastructure fund managed by private equity manager Infra Invest, and UPC Renewables North Africa owns 70 percent, 25 percent and 5 percent of the shares, respectively.
ACWA Power was also competing for wind power tenders with a total of 850 MW in Morocco’s wind power expansion plan.
ACWA Power has been dominating the development of renewable energy power plants in Morocco. The Saudi Arabian energy giant had developed and overseen the construction of NOOR I Solar Plant in Ouarzazate and continues to do so for NOOR II and NOOR III which will eventually become the NOORo Solar Complex , the world’s largest solar plant.