March 10, 2016 / 12:32 PM / in 3 years

UPDATE 1-Nareva-led group wins $1.2 bln wind power deal in Morocco

(Adds details and background)

RABAT, March 10 (Reuters) - A consortium led by Moroccan energy firm Nareva Holding has won a 12 billion-dirham ($1.22 billion) contract to build five wind farms across the country, with a total capacity of 850 megawatts, Nareva said in a statement on Thursday.

The consortium includes Italy’s Enel Green Power and Siemens Wind Power, it added.

State-run utility ONEE launched a tender competition last year to build and run a 150 MW wind farm in the town of Midelt in the centre of the country, a 300 MW farm in Tarfaya in the south, a 100 MW farm in Tangiers, a 200 MW farm in Essaouira in the west and a 100 MW farm in Boujdour, in the western Sahara.

The project will be built under a public-private partnership with ONEE, the Energy Investments Company and King Hassan Fund, all of which are owned by the state.

ONEE will contract to buy electricity from the farms for 20 years with output due to reach full capacity by 2020.

Nareva said it proposed the world’s lowest price with its bid but the statement did not give details. However, sources close to the deal told Reuters Nareva’s bid was priced at 309 dirhams per MW, while EDF-led group was second at 357 dirhams.

Nareva, a subsidiary of the monarchy’s National Investment Company (SNI), declined to comment on prices, as did ONEE.

Project finance was provided by international lenders including the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Germay’s KFW.

Morocco aims to tap its wind potential to increase power generation from wind farms to 2,000 MW by 2020 from around 600 MW currently at a cost of more than 30 billion dirhams ($3.7 billion).

Nareva’s consortium beat groups led by Spain’s Acciona , France’s EDF and Engie and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power IPO-ACWA.SE .

Morocco currently imports power from Spain to help meet demand, which is growing by around 8 percent a year, and aims to eventually be an exporter of renewable power to Europe via Spain. ($1 = 9.8435 Moroccan dirham) (Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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