Morocco to invest USD 10 billion in energy.
Morocco announced that plans to invest MAD 90 billion in projects across the energy spectrum. Ms. Amina Benkhadra energy minister of Morocco said that it will build more power plants, expand oil storage capacity and step up exploration for hydrocarbons for the six year period to 2015. He said that "This plan links the government and the private sector to implement a strategy aimed at securing energy supply and diversifying energy sources at the right costs." Mr Benkhadra said that "This strategy guarantees that Morocco's economy and population needs in energy are met all the time and throughout the county at the right prices.' According to government forecasts, Morocco's gross domestic product is expected to expand by 6.7% this year, despite global economy downturn, from 5.8% last year. The government is also under pressure to cap the bill for energy, 97% of which is imported. The costs strain its trade balance and test its capacity to avoid a wide budget deficit. According to official figures which also showed the government allocated 23 billion to subsidise fuel, the value of energy imports soared to MAD 71 billion last year from 53 billion in 2007 and 21 billion in 2003. Officials said that electricity consumption is expected to increase 7% to 8.5% per year in the next 10 years from 5% average in the past five years. Under this strategy, Morocco would double power generation capacity from its current 5,292 MW at estimated costs of MAD61.4 billion. The government seeks to expand electricity generation from wind six times from 6,000 MW currently to bring the share of total generation power from winds to 12% by 2015. Its strategy also calls for expanding oil and gas storage capacity with an investment of around MAD 3.0 billion. The government seeks to spend more in exploration for gas and oil after a recent discovery rekinked hopes among energy officials of a possible big find in the future.
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|Publication:||UMCI News (Potomac Falls, VA)|
|Date:||Mar 9, 2009|
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