EBRD boosts Morocco’s hydro-power

Financing supports rehabilitation programme of ONEE’s power plants

AA – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is increasing its support to Morocco’s renewable energy sector with a loan of up to €35 million to the Office National de l’Electricite et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE).

ONEE will use the funds to finance a rehabilitation programme of 12 small- and medium-sized hydropower plants and the refurbishment of safety elements, The overhaul will contribute to the extension of the lifespan of the plants and improve their energy efficiency.

The loan is already the third transaction between the EBRD and ONEE, further strengthening the Bank’s close relationship with the state company and confirming its strong involvement in the power sector in Morocco.

Thanks to technical cooperation funded by the Government of Austria, the investment takes into account the risks to hydropower operations resulting from climate change and corresponding climate resilience measures.

The project will also provide support to the adoption of environmental and hydrological best practice and enhance the management of the country’s water resources, which are highly exposed to climate change risks.

Laurent Chabrier, the EBRD Director for Morocco, said: “Investing in renewable energy is a priority for the EBRD in Morocco. Extending the lifespan of the country’s hydropower plants in a most environmentally friendly way and increasing their efficiency is crucial to building climate resilience and mitigating risks associated with climate change.”

Hassan Rmili, ONEE Operating Director of Renewables on the rehabilitation project, said: “The Hydropower Plants Rehabilitation project that is to be undertaken by ONEE, with the support of the EBRD, presents ambitious objectives, such as contributing to the valuation and protection of our hydroelectric heritage and environment, improving the technical and safety-related performances of this heritage, as well as improving resilience to climate change and supporting social development through job creation.”

Bouchra Abderrahim, ONEE Director of the Technical Division, said: “Our project is of great importance as it falls within the framework of our National Energy Strategy which aims to promote renewable energies. This project has far-reaching objectives at different levels: the social, safety, environmental and technical. Let’s act together, public and private partners, to achieve it.”

ONEE – Morocco’s state-owned electricity and water company – also manages the collection of sewage and rainwater, water sanitation and public lighting in certain areas. It owns and runs electricity transmission, half of domestic electricity generation (and 76 per cent of installed capacity) and 59 per cent of domestic electricity distribution in the country.

It also manages the collection of sewage and rainwater, water sanitation and public lighting in certain areas.

The EBRD started investing in Morocco in 2012. To date, the Bank has invested more than €640 million in 22 projects across the country, in addition to €130 million of trade facilitation credit lines with local banks.

The EBRD has also provided technical assistance to 200 local small and medium-sized enterprises.

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