FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2011
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Thomas R. Hardy | (703) 875-4357

USTDA SUPPORTS RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT IN COASTAL FISHING VILLAGES IN MOROCCO

CASABLANCA, MOROCCO – Today, USTDA awarded a grant to the National Fisheries Office (Office National des Pêches) (ONP) to support the development of distributed power generation and fresh water production in coastal fishing villages in Morocco. The technical assistance will develop a master plan for utilizing renewable energy resources in six pilot fishing villages and provide a model for clean electricity generation and water filtration in up to 60 fishing villages throughout the country.

The technical assistance project responds to the need for enhanced electricity generation in fishing centers in Morocco. The grant will provide an analysis of solar photovoltaic and wind energy applications which would potentially replace diesel-based generation in these remote villages. ONP considers the use of renewable energy to be a high priority.

The $551,880 technical assistance grant was conferred to H.E. Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, by U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Samuel L. Kaplan during a signing ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Casablanca as part of a luncheon hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Morocco. The grant signing was witnessed by Mr. Carl B. Kress, USTDA Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, and ONP Director General Amina Figuigui. Also in attendance was Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service Suresh Kumar, who is leading an18-company trade mission to Morocco.

The project also complements the Millennium Challenge Corporation's efforts in Morocco as it implements initiatives in the fishing sector. Morocco is a leading country in fish production in the Arab region. The fishing sector represents 16% of total national exports and is valued at over $830 million annually.

The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded technical assistance will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. ONP will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the technical assistance.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.

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