Morocco awards study of seawater hydro plant

Morocco’s phosphates agency has named a U.S. firm to study development of a hydropower project that would utilize the outfall of seawater used as a coolant for a phosphate plant at Jorf Lasfar, Morocco.

With a US$375,000 grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), Morocco’s Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) named Keytec Corp. of the United States to carry out a feasibility study of the hydro project. (HNN 10/20/06) The study of the estimated US$18 million project is to be completed by March 2008.

The study also includes a related analysis of the existing seawater pumping and cooling distribution network at OCP’s chemical complex in Safi, Morocco, to optimize flows, recover heat from the sulfuric acid cooling system, reduce global pumping and distribution costs, decrease overall energy consumption, and update the system to meet expansion requirements.

OCP said it would like to recover hydrokinetic energy created by the fall of seawater back into the Atlantic Ocean at Jorf Lasfar by installing a hydroelectric turbine whose generation would be used on site or sold to the Morocco grid. Morocco has been exploring ways to increase its power from renewable sources to reduce its reliance on costly energy imports.

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