Morocco will soon be home to the world’s largest renewable energy-run desalination plant for drinking water and irrigation, following the signing of phase one of the €309 million ($352.9 million) project.
The project will be developed by Abengoa, an international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, in the Agadir region in partnership with the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE) and BMCE Bank.
The project involves the construction of a desalination plant with a 275,000-cubic-meter total production capacity of desalinated water per day which will be the largest plant designed for drinking water and irrigation. The contract also provides for the possible capacity expansion to up to 450,000 cubic meters/day. The desalination plant, which also provides for the option of being operated on wind power, meets the demand for water for domestic use in addition to irrigation water needs in the area of Agadir. At the same time, it will contribute to the development of the main economic drivers, the agricultural and tourism sectors, and the conservation of the aquifers in the area, therefore preventing their over-exploitation.
Under the contract, Abengoa will continue to undertake the engineering, construction and operation, and maintenance for a period of 27 years. Abengoa and the Moroccan company InfraMaroc will be investment partners and responsible for the project financing.
Abengoa has been present in Morocco since 1977 and has offices in Rabat and Casablanca. It has carried out major large-scale projects in the country, such as the world’s first ISCC (Integrated Solar Combined Cycle) plant located in Ain Beni Mathar.