The Director General of the National Office of Electricity and Drinking Water (ONEE), Abderrahim El Hafidi said, Wednesday in Rabat, that the surge in fuel and electricity prices worldwide has and will negative repercussions on the economic and financial balance of the Office, noting that the energy bill for 2022 could be around 47.7 billion dirhams (MMDH).
In a presentation to the Committee on Infrastructure, Energy, Mines and the Environment in the House of Representatives, Abderrahim El Hafidi specified that the energy bill amounted, on average, to nearly 21 billion dollars. during the last four years.
He said he expected an increase of more than 25 billion dirhams in energy and fuel purchases compared to 2021, mainly due to soaring prices internationally.
In order to overcome the constraints faced by ONEE and limit the impact of current economic factors, a series of measures have been taken to manage market risk and guarantee fuel supplies.
Among these measures is the development of an emergency action plan to deal with the constraints arising from the shutdown of the operation of natural gas power plants, which have been replaced by alternative production methods.
It is also a question, according to the official, of carrying out studies and carrying out consultations to provide the solutions and the necessary measures in order to supply natural gas to the stations of Tahaddart and Ain Beni Mathar, in coordination with the Ministry of Energy Transition. and Sustainable Development and the partners concerned.
These measures also provide for guaranteeing the reserve stock of fuels necessary to ensure the continuity of the operation of the means of electricity production, as well as concluding contracts for the purchase of coal in sufficient quantities to cover the needs of the Office in the medium term until September 2022.
It also involves improving the purchasing policy and the management of market risks and financial risks affecting the balances of the Office, through the implementation of the trading room project.
In addition, the Director General of ONEE explained that hydrocarbons represent a significant percentage of the cost of producing electrical energy, reaching 44% in 2021, and should amount to 64% in 2022.
He also noted that the Office is working, in coordination with the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development and the institutions concerned, to develop a myriad of emergency measures in the field of energy efficiency and demand management, the aim being to mitigate the impact of the global energy crisis on the electricity system.
These measures, according to Abderrahim El Hafidi, concern the launch of a vast communication and awareness campaign to promote the rational consumption of electricity in addition to the use of energy-efficient technologies and equipment. The aim is to raise the awareness of large industrial consumers so that they get involved in the national effort to reduce the pressure on the electricity system. There is also a question of promoting Bi-Hourly tariffs reserved for the Office’s large low-voltage customers.
The expected annual impacts could result in a reduction of approximately 100 megawatts in demand during peak hours, and the development of programs at the national level to introduce energy-efficient equipment, in particular for lighting for domestic use. and services and a program to replace 10 million lamps with LEDs.
This approach will reduce demand by 275 megawatts during peak hours and save 675 gigawatt hours per year, or a saving of 740 million dirhams on fuel costs, according to ONEE.