The Office Nacional de l’Electricité (ONE) has in July launched an invitation for the expression of interest and prequalification for three solar plant projects, two of them based in occupied Western Sahara (Dakhla and Boujdour), while a third is based in Morocco (Ouarzazate). The tender goes under the name "The Courak Initiative", and the documents from the tendering process are published on ONE's homepages.
The published documents explain all the details behind the controversial project.
This scheme means that the prequalified companies must have a significant financial structure so as to be able to face the project with the necessary guarantees, not only for ONE but also for the banks or financial entities that would finance the project.
Furthermore, these projects of renewable energies grant the companies that execute them with “carbon credits”, which can be used even to finance the project itself or to reduce/balance their CO2 quota.
As far as WSRW experiences, is not normal that such a complicated and extensive project is put out on tender with such a short deadline. The companies are asked to hand in proposals before the 21st of July this year.
The projects are comprised of a solar initiative strategy that aims to build 500 MW up to 2015. The size of the projects are between 1 and 3 MW for Dakhla and between 5 and 10 MW for Boujdour.
The electricity generation technology is based on Photovoltaic (PV) panels.
The planned investment could provide the necessary infrastructure to further back up Moroccan industry and illegal settlers in the neighbouring and occupied country Western Sahara. The UN has previously asked Morocco to terminate the occupation of Western Sahara, but now Morocco offers the world electricity companies a 20 year contract in the occupied territory. As WSRW has already written, Morocco has in the offering presented Dakhla and Boujdour of being within "the Kingdom of Morocco", despite the fact that no states in the world recognises Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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