A senior Portuguese official told Reuters that Morocco and Portugal will invite bids to build an undersea electricity cable linking the two countries after technical and financial feasibility studies are completed in early 2019.
Morocco and Portugal agreed in 2015 on plans for a 1,000 megawatt (MW) link. The two countries launched a feasibility study in 2016.
Joao Galamba, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Energy said the two governments plan to issue the invitations to bid “immediately after the feasibility study”. On the sidelines of an energy conference in Skhirat, near the capital Rabat in Morocco, he said “both governments are strongly committed to this project”.
Galamba, who said he expected European and African funds to cover the cost of the project, noted that it was estimated to cost about $686 million-$800 million and would be operational before 2030.
Morocco has been linked to Spain’s grid via a 700 MW cable since 1997. The link to Portugal will be the North African country’s second with Europe.
According to Galamba, “the flows will go in both directions depending on our needs. In the beginning Portugal will export a little bit more than Morocco but after a few years it will be the opposite”.
The cable liking Morocco and Portugal is about 250 km and it aims to encourage the development of renewable energy in both countries.