A new setback in the gas dispute. The closure of the GME gas pipeline by Algeria, which supplied Portugal and Spain via Morocco, meant that the kingdom had to look for new alternatives in order to continue to be able to count on a fuel supply. While Rabat claimed that the closure would have "a significant impact", Morocco began to build facilities to make up for the shortfall and sought new cooperation alternatives.
In this new diplomacy, Morocco has managed to negotiate with the British company Sound Energy, a subsidiary that currently holds the Tendrara gas concession in eastern Morocco. The kingdom has announced the signing of a gas contract through which the British company commits to supply the GME pipeline with an annual volume of up to 350 million cubic metres for a period of 10 years, Le360 reports. In this way, the production is expected to be used exclusively within the Maghreb territory, which means that the gas will only be used in Morocco.
Sound Energy has informed through a statement the conclusion of this binding purchase and sale agreement with the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE). This agreement between ONEE and Sound Energy involves a commitment in the production, processing and delivery of the Tendrara concession, as specified in the clauses stipulated by ONEE to GME.
According to the press release, the agreement is presented as "an important and long overdue step that will allow the company to move forward with development planning". The agreement is also conditional on the granting of "all necessary authorisations and permits for the construction of the gas facilities in phase 2". Alongside this, a final investment decision must be approved by the Ministry of Energy, Transition and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
In addition, these requirements include the conclusion of an "interconnection agreement" between the two companies and the start of construction between the area where the Tendrara field is located and GME. The communiqué also states that these conditions must be met within 90 days from the signing of the agreement, although an extension will be allowed if both parties agree.
This new pact is being closely monitored by a number of companies. Several financial partners have already announced "great interest" in contributing to the construction of the kingdom's gas infrastructure, which could represent an important supply alternative for Morocco.