Saudi ACWA Power Starts Operating Wind Field North Morocco

Saudi ACWA Power Starts Operating Wind Field North Morocco
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Saudi ACWA Power Starts Operating Wind Field North Morocco

Saudi ACWA Power Starts Operating Wind Field North Morocco

Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power Group has announced the operation of Khalladi wind power plant, located at the top of Jbel Sendouq, 30 km from Tangiers.

The Khalladi wind power plant is the first ACWA Power project to be developed within the framework of Law 13-09 on renewable energies.

The law encourages the development of renewable sources in order to promote energy security and access, sustainable development, and integration of Morocco’s renewable energy production with other markets.

ACWA Power Khalladi is the second private company to launch a large wind farm within the framework of this law.

The 120 MW Khalladi wind power plant consists of 40 wind turbines of three MW each. Each turbine is installed on a tower of 80 meters and equipped with three blades of 45 meters.

The first turbines start power supply immediately. Over the next four months, additional turbines will become operational until full capacity of 120MW is met.

The plant will produce around 380 GWh annually, directly powering major industrial customers connected to the high voltage network. Power generation at the wind farm will be equivalent to the yearly average consumption of a city of 400,000 people.

ACWA Power Khalladi, which has been implemented since 2014, is 75 percent owned by ACWA Power and 25 percent owned by ARIF (Argan Infrastructure Fund managed by Infra Invest).

The MAD 1.7 billion dirhams worth project was financed under a long-term debt, mainly with the contribution of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in collaboration with the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Moroccan BMCE Bank of Africa.

This is the first renewable energy project to be financed by the EBRD in Morocco, based only on contractual funding without any financial support.



Lebanon Tourism Season Revives Economic Outlook

People are seen at the arrival lounge at Beirut International Airport, Lebanon. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
People are seen at the arrival lounge at Beirut International Airport, Lebanon. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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Lebanon Tourism Season Revives Economic Outlook

People are seen at the arrival lounge at Beirut International Airport, Lebanon. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
People are seen at the arrival lounge at Beirut International Airport, Lebanon. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The surge in visitors to Lebanon during Eid al-Adha and high demand for summer concert bookings are boosting hopes for a revival in tourism.

This sector is crucial for reigniting positive economic growth after about nine months of challenging conditions due to the Gaza war and subsequent border clashes between Hezbollah and Israel in southern Lebanon.

Contrary to earlier fears this month of possible Israeli strikes inside Lebanon, Ali Hamieh, caretaker Minister of Public Works and Transport, reported a daily average of 14,000 arrivals at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport, with numbers on the rise.

Jean Abboud, President of the Association of Travel and Tourism Agents, confirmed that despite initial concerns, booking rates have bounced back to 90-95% after Israeli threats of a mid-month strike. Most arrivals are Lebanese expatriates and foreign workers.

Before the summer season’s anticipated surge, Lebanon saw a 5.37% decrease in arrivals, with air traffic down by 9.34% and passenger numbers at Beirut International Airport dropping by 6.84% in the first five months of this year, totaling 2.29 million travelers compared to 2.46 million last year.

These declines were linked to the border clashes.

Lebanon’s tourism sector, generating over $5 billion annually in recent years, ranks as the country’s second most vital revenue stream after expatriate remittances, which officially approach $7 billion.

Together, they contribute more than half of Lebanon’s national income, which has dropped sharply from about $55 billion to under $22 billion due to the ongoing financial and currency crises that erupted five years ago.

Despite significant losses during peak tourism seasons like Christmas, Easter, and Eid al-Fitr, a report by Bank Audi indicated that Lebanon’s tourism revenues lost over $1 billion in the first six months of the Gaza conflict, driven by a 24% drop in tourist arrivals.

On average, tourists spend around $3,000 during their stay in Lebanon.