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How to explore in Morocco
- Morocco's Background -
General information :
Area : 710 850 square kilometers ( 3 446 Km of coast line ).
Population : 27.7 millions inhabitants in 1994, 56.45 % less than 25 years old and 52.52% urban.
Main towns (million inhabitants) : Casablanca (3), Rabat-Salé (1.31), Marrakech (0.90), Fes (0.57), Oujda (0.43), Agadir (0.39), Tangier (0.66) and Laayoune (0.16).
Religion : Islam.
Languages : Official is Arabic , the administrative and business languages are French, English, and Spanish.
Climate : Continental - Mediterranean.
Political regime :
Morocco is a democratic and constitutional monarchy. The King is head of the state. His Majesty Mohammed VI leads the country since July 1999. The Royal family is directly descended from the Alaouite Dynasty which has governed Morocco since 1640. The Government is headed by a prime minister appointed by the King. Bicameral parliament : whose members are elected for 5 years (Deputy), and 9 years (Councilors). The councilors chamber is renewed thirdly each 3 years. The juridical authority is independent from both the executive and the legislative powers.
Economy's Major Trends and Outlook:
The Moroccan government has pursued an economic reform program supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank since the early 1980s. It has restrained government spending, revised the tax system, reformed the banking system, followed appropriate monetary policies, eased import restrictions, lowered tariffs, and liberalized the foreign exchange regime.
The reforms have contributed to the rising per capita incomes, lower inflation, and narrower fiscal and current account deficits. Inflation has been running at about five percent in recent years.
Morocco has now reunited the total number of susceptible features to attract foreign capitals. The choice of Marrakech to hold the official ceremony of the signature of the final act of the Uruguay round was decorated by the active participation of Morocco in the process of negotiations, its effort towards liberalization of its commercial system and the integration of its economy in the structures of the world economy.
Morocco, which is not an oil producing country, depends on imports for over 90% of its hydrocarbon needs. Primary energy consumption attained 9,080 millions T.E.P. The net energy bill has reached nearly 25% of the exportation receipts. Production of energy amounts to 673 000 T.E.P in 1998. Morocco has 25 hydroelectric plants adding up to a power fixed in 1 175 MW. It has also 5 steam thermal power stations with a capacity of 1 845 MW, 9 gas turbines power stations and many diesel power stations, totalizing 687 MW. These globally amount to 3 707 M W.
Energy Consumption (1998):
- Petroleum products : 6367 million tons, including lubricants, bitumen, ...
- Liquefied gases : 1.036,000 tons.
- Total energy generation : 12 453 G.W.H.
Oil : Imported crude oil is refined by the 2 Moroccan refineries (S.A.M.I.R) in Mohammedia with a capacity of 6.25 millions tons/year, and in Sidi-Kacem with a capacity of 1.2 million tons/year.
Coal : Discovered in 1927, in the North-East of Morocco, the Jerada ore has been exploited since 1932 by Moroccan Coal Company. Its national production contributes with 2% in the balance sheet of energy.
Electricity : The National Office of Electricity (O.N.E) manages the processing and distributing of electricity which is of hydraulic and thermic origins. The exploited hydraulic potential is estimated at 5 billions KWH of which 50% are equipped with some 25 hydro-electric plants. The energy sector contribution to the G.D.P. is around 7%. Its contribution to the state annual revenue is circa one Billion dollars.
Morocco has a substantial infrastructure to support an active oil and gas exploration and production industry. Major seaports , roadways, airports, pipelines and refineries are near large cities endowed with the European and north American style amenities.
Oil refineries located at Sidi Kacem and at Mohammedia near Casablanca have a capacity of 7.45 millions tons/year. The imports of crude oil was about 6,2 million tons in 1998.
There are several main centers of commerce, banking and communication in Morocco. Exploration and production activities can be conducted all the year round.
The Maghreb and Europe gas-pipe :
- Inaugurated in November 1st, 1996, with a capacity of 350 BCF/year which can be doubled at the final phase in 2010.
- The main uses in Morocco : Electricity generation and Industry transport of Moroccan Gas if discovered in the area.
- The gas-pipe characteristics are :
- onshore length within Morocco : 48" diameter, 540Km length.
- Gibraltar strait : 2 x 22" diameter, 45Km length.
- transport capacity : 350 BCF/year in first phase and 750 BCF/year in the final phase.
- Two compression stations with 50 MW each are located in Ain Beni Mathar ( East of Morocco ) and in Tangier ( North of Morocco ).
Infrastructure map ( click on to enlarge )
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