Morocco's strategy in the energy sector aims at boosting national production to 5,000 MGW during the upcoming five years to satisfy the growing demand for energy, the kingdom's Minister of Energy and Mines, Amina Benkhadra was quoted as saying by MAP. The statement came after the launch of the world's first combined cycle thermo-solar power plant, which will cost some US$ 631 million. It is located near the eastern city of Oujda.
The plant, due to open in mid 2009, will boast an output capacity of 472 MGW, including 20 MGW from solar energy, and is set to supply up to 8.5% of national energy production. Built by Spanish group "Abengoa", the project is funded mainly by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the national electricity utility (ONE).
Earlier this month, Morocco has started the construction works of a thermal power plant due to provide the country with 27% of its electricity needs. The plant, which will adopt environment-friendly techniques, will cost US$ 2.7 billion, and will have a capacity 1,320 MW.