Morocco lays out its vision for development of natural gas market

The Moroccan government has outlined its plan for the development of natural gas over the next three decades to support its strategy seeking to diversify energy mix, bolster the use of renewable energy and reduce greenhouse emissions.

To unleash the Kingdom’s green energy capacities, a legal framework will be set up for natural gas imports, transportation, storage and distribution. The long-term strategy also provides for the assessment of the country’s demand for natural gas while taking into account the recent consumption meter records and a potential future demand as a growing number of plants are opting for this new, clean and competitive fuel.

Natural gas emits between 45 pc and 55 pc lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal when used to generate electricity, according to International Energy Agency.

Using natural gas instead of coal to generate electricity can also significantly reduce air pollution. Natural gas supports renewables because it can quickly compensate for dips in solar or wind power supply and rapidly respond to sudden increases in demand.

In Morocco, the growing demand for natural gas by industry will bolster this market but it will gradually replace coal fueling the production of electricity.

Natural gas will also support Morocco’s energy transition to a green economy. By 2030, the country aims to add 2400 MW of combined-cycle technology to expand its gas-fuelled power generation capacity, as well as increase its use of natural gas in energy-intensive industries.

To this end, there are plans to develop a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, two 1200-MW, combined-cycle power plants, a floating storage regasification unit and a natural gas pipeline project.

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