Morocco will soon sign its first purchase contract for liquefied natural gas in a bid to meet its energy demands amid the global energy crisis.
Minister of Energy Transition Leila Benali said at a parliament session on Monday that Morocco succeeded for the 'first time in its history' to access the international liquefied natural gas.
The North African Kingdom received dozens of offers, Benali noted, adding that the Moroccan government set up an ad-hoc committee to examine the offers through an 'accelerated procedure of review and negotiation with international companies.'
Answering MPs' questions about the government's plan to tackle the energy crisis, Benali said Morocco has put in place an emergency plan to meet its electricity supply which requires half a billion cubic of natural gas per year in the short term.
The overall capacity storage of petroleum products in Morocco is 1.8 million tons covering 57 days of national consumption, she said.
Benali recalled that Algeria's decision to halt the Maghreb Europe gas pipeline contract had no impact on local electricity production.
In October 2021, Algeria decided to end the contract of the regional pipeline just a few months after the country had decided to cut all diplomatic relations with Morocco.
Benali noted that Algeria's decision did not cause any shortage in Morocco's electricity portfolio.
The official said that her ministry has been monitoring and accelerating the implementation of projects scheduled by private operators to achieve an overall storage capacity of 777,000 cubic meters for petroleum products, with an investment of MAD 2.7 billion ($269.64 million) by 2023.
As Morocco actively seeks to introduce a new management mechanism to ensure more reserves within the framework of the public-private partnership, the government has been reaffirming its commitment to strengthening gas infrastructure to meet local demand.
The country's plan to strengthen its infrastructure covers gas pipelines, ports, storage, and re-conversion units for liquified natural gas.
Emphasizing the importance of building sites to reconvert liquefied gas into natural gas, Benali has previously called for authorities to carry out financial and economic studies to determine optimal sites to host gas conversion units.
The ports of Mohammedia and Nador are the most eligible sites to receive liquified natural gas and tor, store it, and convert it into natural gas.