Morocco, a priority market for Basque companies in the renewable energy generation sector

Submitted by Alina Danieles… on 08 May 2018

Representatives from MASEN (Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy), SENER, SIEMENS-GAMESA, BATZ ENERGY and the Basque Energy Cluster, analysed the sector situation and their collaboration experiences in an event exclusively dedicated to Morocco. This event was hosted as part of Intergune, the annual internationalisation meeting, promoted and organised by the Basque Government, SPRI and the Basque Internationalisation Agency.

The event took place on 20th February in the BEC, and was opened by the Deputy Minister of Industry, Javier Zarraonaindia, who emphasised the role of Morocco as the first destination for Basque companies in Africa and a valuable access door to other markets thanks to its strategic position, combined with a series of measures to attract foreign investment. Institutional speeches were closed by the Deputy Consul of the Kingdom of Morocco in Bilbao, high representatives of the Tanger-Med Free-trade zone and the Port of Tangier, as well as the Chairman of the Bilbao Port Authority. 

The second part of the day consisted of round tables focused on two sectors: automotive industry and renewable energies, moderated by the Basque Energy Cluster. During this session, representatives from MASENSENERSIEMENS-GAMESABATZ ENERGY and the Basque Energy Cluster shared their insights and outlook for renewable energies in Morocco and the successful experience of the three Basque companies in the development of projects in this field, which has led in some cases to their establishment in the country.

MASEN representative highlighted the firm determined commitment undertaken by the Moroccan Government to renewable energy generation with installed capacity targets in the energy mix of 42% and 52% expected by 2020 and 2030, respectively, and specifically promoting the use of wind, solar and hydroelectric power. 

On the other hand, the Basque Energy Cluster presented the results of a market report recently drafted, highlighting the opportunity offered by the Moroccan energy strategy to Basque companies in the renewable energy value chain. Moreover, the Cluster described its activities in support of the internationalisation of companies and presented technological-business mission to Morocco organised for the CSP Work Group in April 2017 as a clear example of this.

Furthermore, Verónica Roselló, Project Director of the solar thermal power plant Noor 1, described SENER experience in the construction of the Noor complex - the largest CSP complex in the word - and its contribution to local industry development and specialised labour qualification. The work carried out in Noor 1 enabled SENER to take part in further Noor 2 and Noor 3 phases, to extend its natural engineering role by acquiring a higher share in the construction of power plants.

Jon Lezámiz, the Institutional Relations Manager of SIEMENS-GAMESA, stressed the high wind energy potential offered by Morocco, where the multinational has a market share of 72%, and shared his implementation experience with the opening of a blade manufacturing plant in Tangier in October 2017. The company will supply Atissat park, currently under construction, from this plant.

The insights shared by Basque companies came to an end with the speech of Aitor Lekue, BATZ ENERGY Director, describing their evolution from the automotive sector, which concentrates a major part of their knowledge, to the renewable energy sector, where they currently operate as suppliers of structures and component assembly for solar thermal and photo-voltaic power plants.

Further speeches revealed the great work carried out by Basque companies in the development of ambitious renewable energy projects promoted by the Moroccan Government in recent years, their outstanding contribution to the local industrial fabric development and the source of opportunities for technological collaboration and transfer which are offered by this market.

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