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Morocco turns to hydropower for more energy independence

Around 140 km to the South of the Moroccan metropolis of Marrakesh, one of North Africa’s most advanced and most powerful pumped storage power plant is in the making.

Pumped storage Power Plant Abdelmoumen with a total output of 350 MW will be erected near the existing Abdelmoumen dam on the Issen River. Overall responsibility for the project lies with an EPC consortium consisting of globally operating building contractor Vinci Construction and renowned hydropower specialist ANDRITZ Hydro. Vinci Construction will take care of the essential construction work while ANDRITZ Hydro will provide the facility’s electromechanical equipment. This includes two reversible pump turbines and motor generators that are designed for a nominal head of 550 m. Once in operation, the pumped storage power plant will contribute significantly to achieving the goals set by Morocco’s energy strategy.

In a bid to reduce its dependence on foreign imported hydrocarbons, Morocco has set itself the ambitious objective of increasing the share of renewable energy to 42% of the country's total power generation through 2020. The Abdelmoumen Pumped Storage Power Plant (PSPP) is a crucial element in meeting this goal.
Leading global construction company Vinci Construction and ANDRlTZ Hydro have forged an EPC consortium (Engi­neering, Procurement and Construction) for the design, construction, manufacturing and commissioning of the 350 MW Abdelmoumen project. L:Office Nationale de l'Electricite et de l'Eau potable (ONEE) awarded the contract to the consortium based on its technically and commercially competitive offer, alter a thorough evaluation. Located on the river lssen in the Taroudant Province and close to the existing Abdelmoumen reservoir, the project is situated approximately 140 km south­west of Marrakesh. Construction will start early in 2018 and is due to be completed 48 months later. PSPP Abdelmoumen will be used to compensate for natural variations in the production of wind and solar power. This role will place specific technical demands  on the project. For example, a high number of start and stop cycles in both pump and turbine mode may be required on any given day, while the need to react quickly and switch from one mode to another is needed to respond to rapid drops or increases in wind speed.

Covering peak-load demands
With two 175 MW pump turbines robustly designed to accommodate 20 rapid mode changes per day, PSPP Abdelmoumen will cover peak-load energy demands and provide rapid response power to regulate the Moroccan grid.
In addition to the works inherent to the PSPP Abdelmoumen - such as reservoirs, waterway, plant and substation - the project also includes the creation or rehabilitation of many access roads, and the installation of supplementary pumping equipment. All of this while respecting the environment and the surrounding population.
Vinci Construction is acting as the consortium leader and will execute all the important civil engineering elements of the project. ANDRlTZ Hydro's scope of supply comprises design, manufacturing, delivery, installation, supervision and commissioning of the reversible pump­turbines, motor-generators, and electrical power systems.
Combining their expertise, Vinci Construction and ANDRlTZ Hydro are jointly realizing the technically challenging 3 km steel-lined waterway. This consists of a 2 km-long penstock, more than 700 m of tunnels made of sections of between 3.5 m and 5 m in diameter, and three shafts up to 60 m high.

High efficiency guaranteed
To provide a reliable base for the design of the pump turbines broad research and model testing activities have been accomplished by ANDRlTZ Hydro's test laboratory. Operating under the outstanding high net head of about 555 m, the designs assure the two pump turbines are able to meet both the high efficiency and reliability requirements for years to come.
PSPP Abdelmoumen is the first EPC consortium collaboration between Vinci Construction and ANDRITZ Hydro. Both partners look forward to the successful completion of the project and are confident it will open the way to further future collaboration.
ANDRITZ Hydro is pleased to support Morocco in the development of its abundant, sustainable and renewable energy resources to achieve the state's ambitious goals for the future.

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