The existing diesel plant will be extended with four additional diesel generators that have a combined power of 72 MW. The project is expected to be finished by August 2016. The generators will run on heavy fuel N°2 as base fuel, and diesel oil as backup fuel.
"MAN Diesel & Turbo can do without the association to Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara. Such a partnership is highly unfortunate in view of conflict resolution. We call upon MAN to immediately reconsider its engagement and abstain from installing the equipment in the occupied territory", WSRW wrote in a letter to the company today.
The envisioned type of electricity generating power station is known to produce greenhouse gases that severely pollute the environment and is a human health risk. Because of the sulphur and nitrogen compounds in them, and their greater particulate matter, heavy fuel oils are not used in Europe in generating stations. It is also the reason why the world community is requiring ships to use cleaner fuels in the coming years. Heavy fuels pose a demonstrated human health risk to local populations.
Two previous attempts of the Moroccan government to install diesel power stations in Morocco proper, in Tiznit and Ait Melloul, were nipped in the bud, as civil protests broke out and concerns for environment and public health came to the fore. Now, the Moroccan government has decided to build the very same type of power station outside of Morocco, and inside of the territory it holds under military occupation since 1975; Western Sahara.
WSRW maintains that the electrification of Western Sahara is advancing or entrenching Morocco's illegal occupation of the territory. Just one year ago, WSRW published the "Fuelling the Occupation" report, documenting transports and volumes of petroleum products into occupied Western Sahara. The findings revealed a heavy involvement of the Swedish shipping company Wisby Tankers AB. Though Saharawis in Western Sahara also need petroleum products for civilian life-sustaining purposes, the petroleum is mostly used by the Moroccan administration, army, settlers and for plunder of the territory’s rich natural resources. Without the oil imports the illegal occupation would be practically impossible to maintain.
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.
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.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.