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Chinese firm Sepco III has signed a deal to build a 318MW coal-fired power plant in the North African country of Morocco
Moroccan state power utility ONEE said that Sepco III won the tender launched by ONEE last year to build the second coal-fired power plant in the city of Jerada near the Algerian border, where protests erupt frequently over unemployment since the closure of coal mines there in 2001.
The construction will be financed by Chinese Exim Bank and the plant will start operating by the end of 2016. The project will be expected to create employment in the area.
A 165MW plant was built there in 1971 to burn up anthracite, a hard, high carbon-content coal from the mines.
ONEE has also signed a deal to buy 1,320MW or 25 per cent of the national power requirement from a planned coal-fired power plant on the Atlantic coast near the city of Safi, under a contract won in 2010 by GDF Suez and the royal holding company Nareva.
Mines and energy minister Fouad Douiri told Reuters, Morocco has a huge deficit in energy production as annual consumption has been growing by around 10 per cent and the country has to spend heavily to subsidise power due to high production costs.