Morocco to cut industrial power tariffs
Morocco has announced it will shortly ease tariffs on industrial electricity by 9 percent, a newspaper reported. The Moroccan economy and finance department is close to finalizing the cut, a source close the department told Moroccan La Vie Economique weekly.
Earlier this year, the government reduced the tariff on power for firms by 11 percent as part of a drive to foster the competitiveness of Moroccan firms, especially those that export. Decreasing the electricity tariffs was necessary because of increased competition and lowered trade barriers, according to the source, who was not identified.
The cut has become possible because of a new power accord concluded between Morocco and Spain and because of the encouraging results posted by the Moroccan state-owned company ONE.
ONE said it is studying a project to apply in Morocco the tariffs applied by European countries to their industrial firms. The company said the project is viable because power, in terms of volume, is largely available.
Morocco has the largest power plant in Africa in Jorf Lasfar (220 km south of Rabat). It also has a large wind-power park near the northern town of Tetouane.
The accord signed last week between Morocco's ONE and Spain's Red Electrica is expected to reinforce Morocco's power potential.
However, Moroccan industrialists believe that the new 9 percent cut in industrial power tariffs is still below their expectations, as power-related taxes remain high. Driss Benhima, managing director of ONE, calls for a cut in oil taxes before talking of any new cuts in power prices.
"Let the government reduce taxes on oil products and I will offer you power prices that defy any competition," he said. But the government appears reluctant to do this, as it draws considerable revenues from the taxes - some $40 million a year. –(Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)