Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Spain increased by more than 167% at the end of April 2023, announced the Minister for Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali.
Asked about the strategy for reducing the national energy bill during the weekly session of oral questions in the House of Councillors, the Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali, assured that the ministry ensures regular monitoring of the national storage capacity and support for oil product import projects scheduled by private operators.
The Minister affirms in particular that her department is working to accelerate projects relating to storage capacities, stressing that the programming, this year, within the framework of a partnership with the private sector, is endowed with an investment of approximately 1 2 billion dirhams which will increase the stock to an additional 370,000 cubic meters, representing 6 to 17 days in petroleum products, in addition to an investment of 700 million dirhams allowing the stock to be increased by 255,000 cubic meters, i.e. 10 to 12 days of stock.
In the same vein, Benali indicated that the storage capacity of the Samir refinery is 345,000 tonnes of diesel, i.e. 22 days of consumption, adding that the level of the national stock has increased by 187,000 cubic meters in petroleum products since the beginning. 2023, i.e. a storage volume between 7 and 19 days of consumption.
“Today, we are accelerating investments in gas infrastructure, and this project has been expected since 2009she added, noting that the volume of private sector investment in this area varies between 4 and 8 billion dirhams in the short term.
According to Benali, the ministry “ has proven that access to the international LNG market can accelerate the development of renewable energies and abandon fossil fuels, as well as decarbonize electricity and industry and reduce the national energy bill“says Benali.
On the other hand, the Minister explained: If there is any confusion or hesitation about Morocco’s needs and on the efficiency of natural gas compared to fuel and coal, then the best evidence is that the imports recorded by the pipeline via the common interconnection between Morocco and Spain grew by 167% in the first four months of this year “.
In addition, she announced the formation of a technical commission responsible for monitoring the supply of petroleum products to mitigate the consequences of soaring international prices on the national market, comprising representatives of her department, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Compensation Fund.
As for the increase in water and electricity bills, the Minister assured that the current tariff has not known any change or increase since 2017 and the revision can only be made within the framework of an agreement between the delegated authority and the delegated management company.
It argues that progressive billing for subscribers not exceeding a monthly consumption of 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) takes into account the purchasing power of people with limited incomes, who represent 80% of subscribers, according to data from the National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE).
In addition, Benali points out that selective billing for other subscribers (20%) is, on the other hand, fixed according to the system of tranches in order to encourage them to moderate their energy consumption.