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MOROCCO AND SPAIN SEEK TO CONSOLIDATE THEIR ENERGY COOPERATION

Within the framework of the strengthening of the energy partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Kingdom of Spain, Mr. Aziz RABBAH, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Environment met, on Monday 8 June 2020, by videoconference, with Mrs. Teresa Ribera Rodriguez, Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Minister of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, in the presence of Mrs. Sara Aagesen Muñoz, Spanish Secretary of State for Energy.

At the beginning of the meeting, the two Ministers praised the excellent bilateral cooperation relations existing between Morocco and Spain, which are part of a vision of regional integration which places Morocco and Spain as two points of connection between Europe and Africa.

The talks also provided an occasion for both parties to discuss opportunities for cooperation in the energy sector in light of the changes that this sector is undergoing worldwide, particularly in terms of the energy transition, the increased use of clean and renewable energies, and the opening up of energy markets.

In this regard, both sides raised several issues of common interest, such as power system planning, electricity interconnection between the two countries and the natural gas partnership, as well as the implementation of the Joint Declaration of the Roadmap on “Renewable Electricity Trade Roadmap-SET Roadmap”, signed between Morocco, Spain, Portugal, France and Germany on the sidelines of the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 22), held in Marrakech in November 2016.

Regarding electricity interconnection, the two sides agreed to activate the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on the development of a third Morocco-Spain Electric Interconnection, signed during the meeting in Morocco of His Majesty King Mohammed VI with King Philip VI of Spain in February 2019. The two parties also called for the resumption of the activities of the working group, made up of the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water and the Spanish company Red Electrica, relating to the development of the second line of the Moroccan-Spanish electricity connection.

With regard to the road map on electricity trade, the two Ministers stressed the need to intensify consultations between experts from the two countries in order to speed up the actions for the integration of the electricity markets of renewable origin in the short, medium and long term, of the signatory countries of the joint declaration, in the presence of the European Commission, in particular through the finalization and signature, in the coming weeks, of the Memorandum of Understanding defining the rules and procedures necessary for the conclusion of bilateral contracts between producers and industrialists – Gross border Green Corporate PPAs (BGCPPAs) and the implementation of the steering and monitoring mechanisms of the said joint declaration, as provided for in the Brussels Declaration signed in December 2018 by the five countries.

Furthermore, the two sides referred to the importance of multilateral and tripartite cooperation actions and called on the institutions of the two countries to work together to implement regional and continental initiatives such as the European Green Deal and the coalition launched jointly by Morocco and Ethiopia for access to sustainable energy.

At the end of this meeting, Mr. Rabbah and Mrs. Rodriguez agreed to continue their exchanges and consultations through the holding of periodic meetings (virtual or face-to-face) to establish a work agenda for the implementation of projects of common interest and to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field of energy.

This meeting was attended by Mrs. Amina BENKHADRA, Director General of the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, Mr. Abderrahim El HAFIDI, Director General of the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water and Mr. Mustapha BAKKOURY, Chairman and Managing Director of MASEN.