The information on Abengoa’s plan to sell its shares in the Agadir desalination plant, relayed by the Spanish press and then by the Moroccan media, has no official character for the moment, assures “Le Matin ” sources at ORMVA Souss-Massa and ONEE
According to information reported by the Spanish press and relayed by the Moroccan media, Abenewco 1, the structure that carries the projects of the Spanish group Abengoa, has announced its intention to sell its shares in the companies that operate the water desalination plant. of Agadir and the irrigation network of the plain of Chtouka which accompanies it, within the framework of a public-private partnership for a period of 30 years which binds the group to the Ministry of Agriculture and to ONEE.
According to the Spanish newspaper El Economista, which cites sources familiar with the matter, the transfer project is attracting the interest of industrial groups and investment funds such as the Spanish company Acciona or the French company Engie, involved in the desalination project. of the Casablanca-Settat region.
Contacted by Le Matin, Nor-Eddine KESSA, director of ORMVA Souss-Massa wanted to clarify the situation, specifying that what was reported by the Spanish press, namely the cessation of Abengoa “still has not been formalized” and that a “meeting will be held between the parties concerned to discuss the project and its progress”.
Also contacted by Le Matin, a well-informed source within ONEE confirmed that no information has been made official at this time. And to clarify that at his level, no meeting is yet scheduled to discuss this issue.
It should be noted that the Spanish group has been facing financial difficulties since 2016. This is what the group explains in a press release adding that the company has been placed in receivership since February 2020 to avoid bankruptcy. But the failure of the group’s rescue plan, which was to inject 249 million euros from SEPI, forced the company to sell its assets.
As a reminder, work on this ambitious project started in 2018, with a starting capacity of 275,000 m3/day (150,000 m3/day for drinking water and 125,000 m3/day for irrigation) and eventually 400,000 m3 /day in equal parts between drinking water and irrigation water needs. Considerable efforts have been made by all parties to the project to allow the launch of the progressive operation of the desalination unit for drinking water needs. In June 2022, Abengoa had successfully passed the contract tests for the Agadir desalination plant.