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    Morocco to purchase LNG from global markets: press


LNG will help Morocco meet soaring electricity demand, providing vital baseload to complement its giant solar power projects.

by: Callum Cyrus

Posted in:

Natural Gas & LNG News, Africa, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), News By Country, Morocco

Morocco to purchase LNG from global markets: press

Morocco is seeking its first ever purchase deal for LNG supplied from global trading markets, as Rabat looks to navigate the energy market crunch to satisfy domestic energy requirements, Morocco World News reported June 21.

An estimated 500mn m3/yr of natural gas is required to fuel Morocco's national electricity generation system in the short term, the report suggested. Morocco's neighbour Algeria in October 2021 halted a proposed regional pipeline - the Maghreb Europe project - that would have supplied local gas to Moroccan buyers, following a breakdown in ties between the two north African countries.

Morocco's minister of the energy transition, Leila Benali, told a parliamentary session Rabat had received dozens of offers to supply LNG, leading to the establishment of an ad-hoc committee to scrutinise bids and negotiate with international gas traders.

Rabat invested billions of dollars in renewable generation to launch world-leading solar facilities - its giant 500 MW Noor solar power complex is distributed across 2,500 hectares, incorporating several utility-scale solar power plants. The aim was to achieve universal electricity access, with World Bank figures cited by the BBC indicating this is now within reach. Around 82.5% of Moroccan rural communities had electricity access as of 2019, while 100% of urban areas did so.

Rabat has vowed to bring renewables to a 52% share of its power output by 2030, comprising 20% solar, 20% wind and 12% hydro power, according to the BBC. The figures on its existing renewables output vary - officially Morcoco's renewable plants accounted for 37% of overall installed electricity generation capacity in 2020, though Our World in Data suggests the real primary energy share was as low as 8.2%.

Gas accounted for a relatively small percentage of primary energy consumption in 2020, at 10TWh or 3.1% of overall demand, according to Our World in Data. However strong economic growth in every year from 1997 until the coronavirus pandemic has led to soaring energy usage, meaning more gas is needed. Energy use rose by a quarter from 2010 to 2020, from 194 TWh to 244 TWh.