Under the contract, the joint venture will be responsible for the construction surveys, civil engineering works, supply of materials and pumping equipment, assembly, testing and commissioning.

Vinci Construction will undertake civil engineering works including earthworks for two reservoirs, excavation for the powerhouse to be embedded in the slope, and installation of the penstock pipe over a distance of 3km, including 1km underground.

Meanwhile, Andritz Hydro will be responsible for the supply of electromechanical equipment including two 175 MW Francis turbines and a high voltage substation. The turbines are planned to be specially developed by the company at its laboratory.

Vinci said that the energy storage project forms a part of the plan to develop and integrate renewable energies in Morocco.

For the project work, Vinci plans to mobilize 840 people, of which 780 are planned to be recruited locally.

A training program is also planned to be launched to ensure worksite safety and quality for the project, which is expected to complete in 48 months.  

The Abdelmoumen project involves an uphill tank, which releases stored water into a 3km transfer line (penstock and galleries) to a tank about 550m downhill. Along the penstock between the two reservoirs, the hydroelectric plant is planned to be built.

Power is generated when the reversible plant operates in turbine mode and when in pumping mode, water is pumped from the lower to the upper reservoir.

Vinci said: “The system can be switched between pumping and turbine mode up to 20 times a day, depending on the amount of surplus electricity available or the needs of the Moroccan electricity grid.”

Image: Vinci head office in France. Photo: courtesy of © Photothèque VINCI.