Voltalia to construct wind farm in occupied Western Sahara

The French company plans to commence construction later this year.
Published: 10.08 - 2020 10:16Printer version    
Moroccan media reports (or download) that three years after Morocco accorded it the status of independent electricity producer for the "province of Laayoune", French company Voltalia SA can now kick-off the actual construction of its envisioned 75 MW wind farm.

But the "province of Laayoune" is a Moroccan administrative denomination for a part of the territory of Western Sahara that it holds under military occupation. The province comprises the area around the occupied capital of the territory, El Aaiún.

According to a press release of the Moroccan Council for Competition of 28 May this year, two of Voltalia's 100% owned subsidiaries, Voltalia Maroc and VLT Investment 6 B.V. have set up a joint company called "Parc Eolien de Ghrad Jrad SAS", for the development, realisation and exploitation of the wind farm.

Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) has sent a letter to Voltalia SA, asking the company to clarify how it assesses the legal status of Morocco vis-à-vis the territory of Western Sahara, and whether it has obtained obtained the consent of the people of Western Sahara, through their internationally recognised representative body, the Frente Polisario, to becoming an independent producer of electricity on the territory.

"We are convinced that it is not in the interest of any company to become associated with continued occupation and colonisation, and the plunder of resources. Accordingly, we ask that you limit any cooperation with Morocco to the territory of Morocco proper, and refrain from undertaking activities on occupied land", WSRW wrote in the letter to the company.

In June 2016, Voltalia acquired Alterrya Maroc, a Rabat-based development company for renewable projects in Morocco. Voltalia also bought Alterrya Wind, which is based in El Aaiún. The Alterrya-transaction enabled Voltalia to acquire a portfolio of 185 MW wind and 100 MW solar projects which at the time of the take-over were still at the conception stage. WSRW considers the Ghrad Jrad wind farm to be part of that portfolio. It is unclear how many more projects of the Alterrya portfolio are planned to be implemented in occupied Western Sahara.

Voltalia also obtained a company called VMA Sahara in 2016, which is also based in El Aaiún.



08.09 - 2020 / 16.06 - 2020Soon 10 years of wrongful imprisonment: release Gdeim Izik group now
08.09 - 2020 / 07.09 - 2020DHL: ignoring Saharawi rights for 5 parcels a day
24.08 - 2020 / 24.08 - 2020Concrete plans for third solar plant in occupied Western Sahara
10.08 - 2020 / 18.07 - 2020Voltalia to construct wind farm in occupied Western Sahara
28.07 - 2020 / 22.07 - 2020Will Deutsche Post's AGM provide clarity on Western Sahara operations?
27.07 - 2020 / 01.07 - 2020New Indian construction company in occupied Western Sahara
27.07 - 2020 / 20.07 - 2020Continental still unclear about future supplies to Western Sahara
22.07 - 2020 / 22.06 - 2020Conflict Bitcoin miner keeps silent on Dakhla wind farm plans
19.07 - 2020 / 13.07 - 2020Siemens yet again evades questions on Western Sahara
16.07 - 2020 / 29.06 - 2020Namibia slams Spain for failing to respect Saharawi rights
03.07 - 2020 / 02.07 - 2020Swiss supermarkets ban produce from occupied Western Sahara
03.07 - 2020 / 11.06 - 2020HeidelbergCement cites local benefits, ignores consent
02.07 - 2020 / 21.06 - 2020Fishmeal: German government data confirms import controversy
26.06 - 2020 / 21.06 - 2020Turkey: biggest funder of occupation of Western Sahara
25.06 - 2020 / 05.05 - 2020These are the vessels that provide fuel for the occupation
23.06 - 2020 / 22.06 - 2020Protesters set up roadblock to stop conflict minerals in New Zealand
13.06 - 2020 / 13.06 - 2020WSRW urges shareholders to challenge Continental
06.06 - 2020 / 06.06 - 2020Norwegian gas transport avoids Western Sahara at last minute
28.05 - 2020 / 28.05 - 2020World Bank removed erroneous maps
27.05 - 2020 / 27.04 - 2020Russia-Morocco controversial fisheries deal on the horizon


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.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies


It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.

WSRW.org News Archive 2020
WSRW.org News Archive 2019
WSRW.org News Archive 2018
WSRW.org News Archive 2017
WSRW.org News Archive 2016
WSRW.org News Archive 2015
WSRW.org News Archive 2014
WSRW.org News Archive 2013
WSRW.org News Archive 2012
WSRW.org News Archive 2011
WSRW.org News Archive 2010
WSRW.org News Archive 2009
WSRW.org News Archive 2008
WSRW.org News Archive 2007
WSRW.org News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy