Morocco’s 450MW Beni Mellal pumped storage scheme is attracting wide international interest from contractors. The bidding deadline has been extended by two months to 28 September at the request of prospective bidders.

These include: Dragados & Construcciones, Necso and Abengoa, all of Spain; alstom (ABB Alstom Power), Dumez, Campenon Bernard, Sogea, Cegelec and Spie Batignolles, all of France; General Electric and CMS Energy from the US; Technopromexport of Russia; Zurich-based ABB (ABB Alstom Power); Mitsui & Company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Sumitomo Corporation, all of Japan; Ansaldo Energia and Impregilo, both of Italy; and UK-based Kvaerner Construction.

The client is Office National de l’Electricite. A feasibility study for the project was prepared by Electricite de France and most of the funding is coming from the European Investment Bank.

The scheme, on which work should start next year, is due for completion in 2003. It will include two artificial basins each with a storage capacity of 1.3M m3. Water stored in the basins will power four turbines, two of 165MW each and two of 60MW each.