Despite the establishment of several institutions for cooperation between Maghreb countries decades ago, the states have not completed any tangible common projects.
Rabat – The Maghreb Electricity Committee (COMELEC) has launched a study for the gradual establishment of a Maghreb electricity market. The market is expected to start operating by 2025.
The President of COMELEC and President of the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG), Moncef Harabi, made the announcement on Tuesday, February 18, from Tunis.
According to the Tunisian businessman, the Maghreb market represents a population of 100 million inhabitants and an electricity production capacity of 45,000 megawatts.
The project aims to set a price for transporting electricity from one country to another. It also studies the possibility of building and operating joint power plants.
The Maghreb countries need to strengthen their partnerships in the energy sector, stressed Harabi, recalling that each country has a plan for producing electricity from renewable energies.
Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria have already launched solar plans, while Mauritania has just put in place a project to produce electricity from wind energy, with a production capacity of 100 megawatts, added the official.
The COMELEC has been working for 46 years to set up electricity infrastructures in the Maghreb and created several electric connection lines between the countries, recalled Harabi.
Meanwhile, the General Director of Morocco’s National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE), Abderrahim El Hafidi, called for evaluating the activities and governance of COMELEC since its creation almost half a century ago.
“This diagnostic will identify and remove the constraints for the achievement of important COMELEC objectives, such as the establishment of a Maghreb electricity market,” he said.
The attendees agreed to entrust an internal committee with the development of Terms of Reference for the diagnosis. The evaluation would facilitate the creation of a roadmap for the restructuring and reform of the COMELEC.
The annual meeting also aimed to examine the balance sheet of the COMELEC’s activities in 2019 and to validate the 2020 plan.
Founded in June 1974, the COMELEC aims to develop the electricity sector in the Maghreb and ensure a regular exchange of data between its members.
The committee includes five members: Morocco’s ONEE, Tunisia’s STEG, Algeria’s National Company of Electricity and Gas (SONELGAZ), Libya’s National Company of Electricity (GECOL), and Mauritania’s Electricity Company (SOMELEC).