Morocco’s National Office of Electricity & Drinking Water (ONEE) has partnered with GE Vernova’s Gas Power business and Nareva to decarbonize Laâyoune Power Plant, which is powered by three GE Vernova 6B heavy-duty gas turbines.
The project, first of its kind in Africa, will enable the North African Kingdom to generate carbon-free electricity using green hydrogen instead of heavy fuel oils.
Under an agreement signed lately by the partners, GE Vernova pledges to help Laâyoune Power Plant deliver electricity generated using 100 percent green hydrogen produced at Nareva’s Laâyoune wind farm to support Morocco’s expansion of renewable installed capacity from its current share of 40% to of 52% by 2030.
ONEE, Nareva and GE Vernova will undertake techno-economic evaluation studies to convert the 99 megawatts (MW) Laâyoune Thermal Power Plant, currently fueled by heavy oil fuel to hydrogen. The study is expected to be completed in two years and consists of exploring an integrated solution that incorporates the full production value chain to deliver 100 percent hydrogen by volume to the gas turbine for peak demand periods.
Assessment results can pave the path ahead for the full-scale integration of the gas turbines with green hydrogen, aiming to achieve 100% decarbonization of the Laâyoune Power Plant.
Laayoune’s province is experiencing rapid development of projects focused on renewable energy, and there is growing interest in hydrogen as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. Morocco aims to expand renewable electricity capacity from its current share of 40%, to 52% by 2030.
“With ambitious low-carbon energy projects under construction throughout the country, Morocco reinforces its position among global leaders in sustainable energy. The current renewable installed capacity is 4672 MW. Further renewable projects under development and construction will add more than 5 gigawatts of installed capacity across the country”, said Mr. Abderrahim El Hafidi, CEO of ONEE.
“NAREVA will build on its recognized experience in renewable power to actively contribute to the advancement of the country’s energy goals, as well as to the competitive decarbonation of the continent,” said M. Aymane Taud, Nareva’s CEO.
For his part, Joseph Anis, CEO of GE Vernova’s Gas Power business for MENA said: “GE Vernova is pleased to collaborate with ONEE and Nareva to develop this first-of-its- kind project and support climate change commitments in Morocco.”