French-based VINCI Construction Company has been awarded a US $346m contract to build a pumped storage hydroelectric plant (PSP) in Morocco near Agadir.
The project, which consists of storing energy in hydraulic form, is part of the development and integration plan for renewable energies in the country. It includes execution studies, construction of civil engineering, supply of equipment and transfer equipment, assembly, testing and commissioning of the station.
The civil engineering works
The civil engineering works carried out by the construction company will also include the excavation of two basins, the digging of the production plant installed on the hillside and buried, the installation of the transfer pipe over 3km, of which 1km is buried.
Access to the facilities for the site and for the future operation of the site also requires the creation of new roads and the rehabilitation of several others.
The electromechanical equipment, supported by Andritz Hydro, includes two 175MW Francis turbines developed specially in the company’s laboratory and the installation of a high-voltage substation.
Pumped storage hydroelectric plant
The water stored in an upper basin will be released via a transfer pipe (penstock and drifts) of 3km over a vertical drop of approximately 550 meters to a basin located downstream.
A 350MW hydroelectric plant will be installed between the two basins along the pipeline.
This reversible plant will, in turbining mode, produce energy and, in pumping mode, raise water from the downstream basin to the upper basin to produce renewable energy on demand.
According to the company, the change of cycle (pumping / turbining) can be done up to 20 times per day depending on the surplus or energy needs of the Moroccan power grid.
With duration of 48 months, the construction site will mobilize 840 people, 780 will be recruited locally. A training programme will be set up to guarantee the safety and quality of the construction site, the company assured.