Ciments du Maroc officially opens its wind farm in Laayoune on Friday, 21 October, after it was first commissioned last July.
The facility has an installed capacity of 5MW and its annual output of up to 16GWh is intended to supply 80% of energy needs of its Laayoune grinding centre. In reality, the park produces more than the demand from the grinding centre, but not always when the centre needs this energy," said a cement company spokesman. Its excess production is sold the national electricity company, from which the cement producer also buys additional power at times when wind-based power generation is insufficient.
The wind farm represents a total investment of MAD100m (US412.2m) and was delivered as a turnkey project by Spain-based wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa. It is expected that the wind farm will reduce the grinding centre’s MAD15m annual energy bill as well as avoid the emission of 11,800t of CO2 annually.
Ciments du Maroc’s efforts are not limited to the Laayoune wind farm. "In partnership with Italgen, a subsidiary of Italcementi Group which specialises in energy production, Ciments du Maroc‘s plans to continue the development of renewable energy and support the Moroccan plan for wind energy," says a company spokesman. Morocco aims to increase installed wind power capacity by 2000MW by 2020.
As for Ciments du Maroc, the company plans to raise the wind farm’s capacity to 50MW, at which point it may seek carbon credit certification under the Kyoto Protocol.