Africa's biggest wind farm opens in Morocco

June 28, 2010
Wind turbines at a wind farm are pictured in 2008 in the southern Morocccan city of Essaouira. Morocco's King Mohammed VI inaugurated Monday a 250-million-euro (300 million dollar) wind farm near Tangiers, which an official source said was the biggest in Africa.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI inaugurated Monday a 250-million-euro (300 million dollar) wind farm near Tangiers, which an official source said was the biggest in Africa.

The new wind farm, which cost some 300 million dollars, is located in Melloussa, 34 kilometres (21 miles) from Tangiers in northern Morocco and has 165 turbines, with a production capacity of 140 megawatts.

The project was part-financed by the European Bank, which invested 80 million euros, while Spanish and German banks put in a total of 150 million euros.

"The EU gives priority to this kind of investment and is proud to have financed the project," said Guido Prud'homme, the European Bank's representative at the inauguration ceremony.

Morocco's Minister of and Mining, Yamsmina Benkhadra, said the wind farm "is part of a global project estimated at three billion dollars. It will be completed in 2020."

The project, she said, would secure 42 percent of Morocco's , with , solar and hydraulic sources each generating 14 percent of the total.

This would reduce Morocco's energy bill, Benkhadra said, and would "assure our energy security and a sustainable development."

A large wind farm in north Morocco opened in 2000 with a 54-megawatt capacity.

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