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Contract awarded to develop 350-MW Abdelmoumen pumped storage in Morocco

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Vinci Construction, as part of a consortium, has won a €284 million (US$339 million) contract to construct a 350-MW pumped-storage facility in Morocco.

This turnkey Abdelmoumen energy storage project will be delivered as part of Morocco’s renewable energy development and integration plan. It will be owned by the Office National de l’Electricite.

Work will include execution studies, construction of the civil engineering, supply of equipment and transfer equipment, testing and commissioning of the station.

Specific civil engineering work to be carried out by Vinci includes the excavation of two basins and the underground powerhouse and installation of the 3-km-long transfer pipe/penstock. For site access, the company will create new roads and rehabilitate several others.

The energy storage facility, on the Issen River, will store water in an upper reservoir/basin. When needed for generation, it will drop vertically about 550 meters to the lower reservoir (reportedly impounded by the existing Abdelmoumen Dam). The plant will be able to cycle between turbine and pump operations up to 20 times daily, depending on the surplus or energy needs of the Moroccan power grid, Vinci says.

The other part of the consortium is Andritz Hydro. Electromechanical equipment that company will supply involves two 175-MW Francis pump-turbine units and a high-voltage substation, Vinci says.

Construction of the facility is expected to take 48 months, Vinci says, and 840 people will be mobilized to the site, 780 of which will be recruited locally.

Vinci is a French company that has operated in Morocco for 90 years, mainly through its subsidiaries Sogea-Satom and Vinci Energies and Sogea-Satom subsidiaries Sogea Morocco and Dumez Morocco.

Other hydro projects being built in Morrocco include the Fask plant in Guelmim Province.

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