Morocco’s tech exports and large-scale FDI investments from abroad are a product of “cultivating a stable business environment for years”:
Abengoa, a Spanish company specializing in international energy technology, announced on Monday that it had recently begun work on a desalination plant in Morocco, the largest in the region. It will supply 100,000 m3/day of drinking water to more than 500,000 people in the city of Agadir and the surrounding area, with the ability to double that capacity in the future. The increased water security provided by the Abengoa plant will significantly help the development of the two main economic drivers in the region: tourism and agriculture. With $88 million in financing through a local partner and a consortium of banks, Abengoa’s plant is the first public-private-partnership project that the National Power and Drinking Water Office has developed. It also demonstrates how Morocco is a rare exception of political stability, with a correspondingly welcoming business environment, in North Africa.
In 2014 Morocco’s GDP grew 3%, boosted by electronics exports that shot up 26.2% and an automobile industry whose exports jumped 26.5%, making it the county’s leading export sector. But this was no temporary trend — Morocco has been cultivating a stable business environment for years. Abengoa, which began working in Morocco in 1977, inaugurated operations at Ain Beni Mathar, Africa’s first solar thermal plant, in 2010. Combining solar power and natural gas, the plant has a capacity of 472MW and generates 10% of the country’s electricity.
The country also has plans for major energy infrastructure construction, as it wants to reduce its reliance on oil and coal imports in favor of natural gas and renewables. In December, Morocco announced that it would increase LNG imports and construct a maritime terminal worth as much as $4.6 billion at the industrial hub of Jorf Lasfar, as well as build four gas-fired power plants of 600MW each…[Full Story]