Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Moroccan wind farm Nassim Koudia Al Baida to increase its capacity to 100 MW

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, July 19th 2022 à 16:15 | Read 327 times

The wind farm of Koudia Al Baida will double its power (photo: Berd)
The wind farm of Koudia Al Baida will double its power (photo: Berd)
MOROCCO. In a joint press release published on Monday 18 July 2022, Masen (the group in charge of piloting renewable energies in Morocco) and the French company EDF Renouvelables (a subsidiary of EDF) announced the financial closing and the start of the modernisation works of the Nassim Koudia Al Baida wind farm in Morocco.

Built in 2000 by the Office National de l'Electricité et l'Eau Potable (ONEE) and the oldest industrial-scale wind farm on the African continent, Nassim Koudia Al Baida is located in the north of the country, in the region of Tlat Taghramt, near Tetouan (60 km from Tangiers). Its modernisation will be accompanied by loans from national and international banks, mainly Attijari-Wafa Bank, the Banque Centrale Populaire, the Bank of Africa, Société Générale France, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The latter is granting a senior credit line of up to €44m to Koudia Al Baida Energy Company S.A., which is in charge of the project and is equally owned by Masen and EDF Renouvelables. It is part of the senior debt package arranged with the other banks. "This project demonstrates the long-term opportunity for renewable energies to play an important role in the decarbonisation and increased competitiveness of the Moroccan economy," said Nandita Parshad, Director General of the EBRD's Sustainable Infrastructure Group.

The European bank is also providing a loan of 52 million dirhams (€4.87m) and the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) is providing €4.5m to Masen to finance its stake in the capital of Koudia Al Baida Energy Company.

The blades manufactured in Tangiers

With an estimated total value of €130m, this investment will double the company's current capacity of 54 MW to 100 MW. This is a "repowering" operation. The eighty-four existing turbines will be dismantled and replaced by new generation wind turbines with higher efficiency. The wind farm will thus comprise twenty wind turbines with an individual output capacity of 5 MW, i.e. a total output of 100 MW.

The Siemens-Gamesa factory in Tangier will be responsible for manufacturing the blades. This modernisation is scheduled to come into operation in the second quarter of 2024. The wind farm will then be able to "meet the electricity consumption needs of around 420,000 inhabitants and avoid the emission of the equivalent of 308,000 tonnes of CO2 per year", according to Masen and EDF Renewables.

The Nassim wind plan (which means breeze in Arabic) - like the Noor (light) solar plan - brings together under the same name all of the wind projects supported by Masen in order to achieve at least 52% of renewable capacity in its electricity mix by 2030.

Masen is also planning a 200 MW extension of the Nassim Koudia Al Baida wind farm. A feasibility study should start in the third quarter of 2022 for a commissioning by 2025-2026.


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