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Detailed design studies sought for El Menzel pumped-storage project in Morocco

Morocco’s state utility, L'Office National de l'Électricité et de l'Eau Potable (ONEE), invites expressions of interest by 22 April from qualified consultancy firms to conduct detailed studies and establish technical specifications for the procurement and construction of the El Menzel pumped-storage hydropower plant.

The El Menzel project in the northern region of Fès-Meknès, with a proposed installed capacity of 300 MW, is designed to help with Morocco’s energy transition, allowing for the integration of intermittent renewable energy, through the provision of energy storage, as well as enhancing the functioning of the national grid by providing balancing and ancillary services.

The scheme, which would be the third pumped-storage hydropower facility in the North African country, is expected to be co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, and Germany’s development bank, KfW.

The scope of contract, according to the tender notice published on GTAI’s website on 13 March, will entail: an analysis of previous studies and definition of the hydraulic plan including the upper and lower basins as well as the optimal equipment for the project; definition of all the topographic and geological reconnaissance studies that would eventually be necessary to ensure the best sizing studies of the project; estimation of project costs; and, evaluation of the possibilities of a floating solar facility (or solar and wind) to ensure that renewable electricity is used for pumping.  Thereafter, the consultant will be required to establish a detailed preliminary design of the variant that is selected and the technical specifications for the procurement of civil works and equipment.

The consultant will be recruited according to KfW procurement guidelines and the methods indicated in the pre-qualification tender. The prequalification documents can be viewed and downloaded from Morocco’s public procurement portal at www.marchespublics.gov.ma and/or on the ONEE-Branche Electricité (ONEE/BE) website at the address: www.one.ma. Interested companies can also register and request an invitation to pre-qualify by email to: stepelmenzel@onee.ma and a.agut@frankfurt-advisors.com. The original pre-qualification application accompanied by three copies, in French, must be submitted no later than 22 April at 9.00 hrs local time to the Direction Approvisionnements et Marchés, ONEE Branche Electricité, 65 Rue Othman Ben Affane, 20 000 Casablanca, BP 13 498, Morocco.

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