Tuesday, June 29, 2010

King Mohammed VI turns on the power

Melloussa is thirty-five kilometres from Tangier and you could be forgiven if you have never heard of the place. It's not a tourist attraction, well that is it wasn't until not until Monday when HRH King Mohammed VI turned on the 250-million-euro (300 million dollar) wind farm - the biggest such enterprise in the entire African continent.

The new wind farm, which was partially financed by the European Bank to the tune of 80 million euros,  has 165 turbines, with a production capacity of 140 megawatts. According to officials, Spanish and German banks also contributed around 150 million euros.

Morocco's Minister of Energy and Mining, Yamsmina Benkhadra, said the wind farm "is part of a global project estimated at three billion dollars. It will be completed in 2020 and will involve building five wind farms to increase Morocco's wind generation capacity to 2,000 megawatts in 2020 from the approximate 280 megawatts it currently produces from small wind farms. the government had selected the other sites of the wind project in Tetouan, Taza, Layoune and Boujdour.

This would reduce Morocco's energy bill, Benkhadra said, and would "assure our energy security and a sustainable development."

A large wind farm in near Tetouan opened in 2000 with a 54-megawatt capacity.

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