(C) Michel Martinez

Key Investment for Renewable Energy

Abdelmoumen, Morocco

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.

© Vinci Constructions

Leading global construction company Vinci Construction and ANDRITZ 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’Électricité et de l’Eau potable (ONEE) awarded the contract to the consortium based on its technically and commercially competitive offer, after a thorough evaluation.

Located on the river Issen 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 (see article "Pumped Storage for the Future").

Design sketch of the future power station

© Vinci Constructions

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. ANDRITZ Hydro’s scope of supply comprises design, manufacturing, delivery, installation, supervision and commissioning of the reversible pump-turbines, motor-generators, and electrical power systems.

Combining their expertise, Vinci Construction and ANDRITZ 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.

To provide a reliable base for the design of the pump-turbines broad research and model testing activities have been accomplished by ANDRITZ 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.


Total output:  350 MW
Scope:  2 x 175 MW
Head:  555 m
Speed:  600 rpm
Runner diameter:  3,200 mm

Author: Patrice Barbeau

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