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Acwa Power faces $47m loss in Morocco solar plant outage

The Al-Oyeynah Research Station in Saudi Arabia. Gulf nations are taking steps to increase renewables investment Reuters/Fahad Shadeed
Noor III solar plant, which became operational in Q4 2018, was built at the cost of $862 million

Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power estimates it will incur a revenue loss of $47 million following a breakdown at one of its Morocco renewable energy plants.  

The 150-megawatt Noor III solar power plant will face a “forced outage” until November 2024 due to a leak in the molten salt hot tank, the company said in a filing on the Saudi bourse.

Acwa Power intends to repair the tank or build a new storage tank, it added.

The project, which became operational in 2018, was built at the cost of $862 million, according to the company website.

In December 2023, Morocco said it is accelerating plans to add 9 gigawatts to its electricity generation capacity with 7GW coming from renewables. 

“We want not only to move from coal or cater to the intermittency of renewables. We also need gas infrastructure to prepare for the green ammonia, the new methanol we want to deploy at scale,” Leila Benali, minister of energy transition and sustainable development, said on the sidelines of the Cop28 climate conference.

Morocco has formed multiple partnerships with overseas investors for energy transition projects. 

Masdar, a UAE government-owned company, is part of a consortium that won a tender in May 2019 to construct the 800 MW Noor Midelt solar plant in Morocco.

It is developing the plant alongside France’s EDF Renewables and Morocco’s Green of Africa.

The North African nation is also working with the UK on Xlinks, a $20 billion plan to build solar panel and wind farms in the desert that could power more than seven million British homes by 2030. 

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