Results of a study for three cities in Morocco show large biogas production potential from industrial waste streams, thus reducing the dependence on fossil fuels.

Inspired by examples of sustainable transport in Sweden, a pre-feasibility study was commissioned in 2021 to evaluate the potential of sustainable production of biogas in the three Moroccan cities. The study found a potential to produce at least about 100 GWh biogas per year, which would fulfil the fuel demand for around 300 buses, but the actual potential is much larger.

A delegation led by Morocco’s Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development visited Smart City Sweden to learn about sustainable energy and transport solutions in Sweden. In Sweden, biogas is usually upgraded for use as fuel for cars, buses and trucks of various sizes. Locally this means that public transport is both cleaner and more attractive while also creating new job opportunities. On a global scale, local initiatives like this have huge potential to reduce oil dependency and lower greenhouse emissions.

The study for Morocco focused on substrate analysis in the three cities of Kénitra, Tangier and Rabat. The study focused on waste streams from industry to avoid direct competition with any kind of food production. 72% of the potential comes from slaughterhouse waste, 19% from manure and sewage sludge, and the rest from the fish and food industry. Biogas has in the study been considered to be produced as fuel for the local bus fleet and provide a clean and economically viable mass-transport option in the future clean smart cities.

– The substrate analysis found the largest potential in the town of Tangier and which also had a strong local commitment. Therefore we suggest that the feasibility study start off there as the next step, says Marie Holmlund, WSP Sweden, Project Manager of the study.

Morocco depends on imports for 91% of its energy supply. Import dependency is particularly serious for oil, which still dominates the country’s energy mix. Local biogas production has a large potential to decrease the dependency on imported oil and increase Morocco’s energy security.

– This initiative fits perfectly into the Morocco national ambition and strategy for the energy transition in Morocco, as a new Biogas Strategy is under development.”, says Mr Rachid Firadi, Head of International Cooperation at Morocco’s Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development.

The planned full feasibility study would make it possible for Tangier and the local stakeholders to find further waste streams and initiate the implementation of a complete waste-to-biogas operation before the expected bus fleet renewal in 2024.

The pre-feasibility study has been financed by Smart City Sweden and conducted by WSP Sweden in collaboration with IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

For more information, contact Aditi Bhasin here. 

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