Mitsubishi Power Aero's Role in Morocco's Energy Future

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH:
Zaher Fawwaz, Regional Sales Director, Mitsubishi
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We'll explore how the company is helping meet the nation's growing energy demand through innovative gas turbine technology, supporting the integration of renewable energy sources, and contributing to sustainable infrastructure development while enhancing grid stability and reliability.

What role do you believe Mitsubishi Power Aero plays in the energy landscape, particularly in Morocco, and how does your participation in this event contribute to that?

At Mitsubishi Power Aero, we provide flexible, fast-track, customized, on-demand power solutions that are essential for our global customers. Building on 60 years of advanced engineering and highly responsive service, we are committed to helping our customers deliver power affordably and reliably under the most demanding and diverse conditions.

We integrate resources and create synergies with other Mitsubishi Power companies, allowing us to deliver optimized technical and commercial solutions. Customers respect our rich heritage as an innovator and value our financial stability as part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group, a global leader in energy.

We specialize in aero-derivative gas turbines, providing dispatchable and reliable power generation solutions for energy, capacity, and ancillary services markets. 

In the context of Morocco’s energy landscape, Mitsubishi Power Aero could play a significant role in several ways:

1- Meeting Energy Demand: Morocco, like many developing countries, is experiencing increasing energy demand due to economic growth and industrialization. As per IEA, Energy Consumption in Morocco has increased rapidly over the last 2-3 decades with the electricity consumption per capita going up by 92 % between the years 2000 and 2021. Total power generation in Morocco increased by about 20 % between 2018 (34.56 TWh) and 2022 (41.4 TWh). Furthermore, a study done by the World Bank indicates a continued growth in electricity demand by an average of 5.6 % annually through 2030 and that excludes the clean power generation required to produce green hydrogen to align with Morocco’s green hydrogen recently announced strategy. Our advanced gas turbine technology can contribute to meeting this demand by providing efficient and flexible power generation solutions.

2- Integration of Renewable Energy: Morocco has been actively pursuing renewable energy projects (particularly in solar and wind power) with plans to have 52 % renewable energy by 2030 according to IEA. According to Morocco’s energy transition minister H.E.Leila Benali,42% of Morocco’s power generation, about 4.5 GW, ( as of December 2023) comes from renewables. Renewable energy sources are intermittent, requiring backup power generation solutions. Our AERO-GT technology can complement renewable energy sources by providing flexible and fast-starting power generation capacity to stabilize the grid when renewable output fluctuates ( what we call reverse peaking.)

3- Industrial Applications: Morocco’s industrial sector is growing, requiring reliable and efficient power solutions to support manufacturing operations. Mitsubishi Power Aero’s gas turbines can provide onsite power generation for industrial facilities, enhancing energy security and reducing reliance on the grid.

4- Infrastructure Development: Mitsubishi Power Aero’s presence in Morocco can contribute to the country’s infrastructure development by providing cutting-edge power generation technology and expertise. This can help improve energy access, reliability, and efficiency across various sectors.

We would like to be part of the exciting journey ahead in Morocco. I am participating in the Morocco Energy Week to understand more about the needs and challenges of the Moroccan market, talk about what we can offer, our technology & solutions, and forge partnerships with local stakeholders. By engaging with policymakers, industry leaders, and potential customers, Mitsubishi Power Aero can tailor its offerings to meet the unique requirements of Morocco’s energy landscape, thereby contributing to the country’s energy transition and sustainable development goals.

2- What are the key benefits and advantages of opting for a Mitsubishi Power Aero LTSA ( Long Term Service Agreement) in terms of reliability, availability, and performance?

Opting for a long-term service agreement (LTSA) with Mitsubishi Power Aero offers several key benefits and advantages in terms of reliability, availability, and performance of gas turbine assets:

1- Remote Monitoring and Diagnostic Reporting: The LTSA agreement could include predictive maintenance services, where Mitsubishi Power Aero monitors the condition of the gas turbine equipment in real time. This proactive approach allows for early detection of potential issues, minimizing downtime and preventing costly unplanned outages.

2-Maximized Reliability: Through regular inspections, maintenance, and optimization, Mitsubishi Power Aero ensures that our gas turbine assets operate at peak reliability levels. By addressing potential failure points before they escalate, the LTSA agreement will help maximize the uptime of the equipment, leading to improved reliability.

3- Enhanced Availability: With scheduled maintenance and prompt response to any operational issues, the LTSA agreement helps maximize the availability of gas turbine assets. This means that the equipment is more likely to be operational when needed, reducing the risk of production losses or disruptions to the power supply.

4-Optimized Performance: Mitsubishi Power Aero’s expertise and advanced monitoring systems enable the optimization of gas turbine performance throughout its lifecycle. By fine-tuning operational parameters and implementing efficiency improvements throughout the lifecycle of the GT asset, the LTSA agreement will ensure that the equipment operates at its highest performance levels. This results in improved energy efficiency and lower operational costs.

5-Cost Predictability: Our LTSA agreement typically offers fixed or predictable maintenance costs over the contract’s duration. This allows for better budget planning and cost control, as unexpected maintenance expenses are minimized, and the total cost of ownership becomes more transparent.

6-Access to Expert Support: An LTSA will provide access to Mitsubishi Power Aero’s team of experienced engineers and technical specialists. This ensures that gas turbine assets receive the highest level of expertise and attention, leading to optimized performance and extended equipment lifespan. Mitsubishi Power Aero can assign a Field Representative to the customer site(s) through the LTSA, providing on-site expertise with our equipment. The assigned representative will work closely with the customer’s operation team and be the first point of contact for any issues or concerns, assisting with technical expertise and rapid communications to the home office engineering support team when needed.

7- Compliance and Safety: Mitsubishi Power Aero ensures that gas turbine assets under LTSA agreements remain compliant with relevant industry regulations and industry standards. This includes regular inspections, testing, and adherence to industry best practices, minimizing the risk of safety incidents and regulatory penalties.

Overall, opting for a Mitsubishi Power Aero LTSA offers peace of mind to asset owners by ensuring reliable, available and high-performing gas turbine operations while providing cost predictability and access to expert support throughout the equipment lifecycle.

Can you highlight any partnerships or collaborations that Mitsubishi Power Aero is currently involved in or aims to establish to further enhance its presence in Morocco?

Depending on specific market needs, we are open to potential collaboration with: 

1- Local Energy Companies: Collaborating with local energy companies in Morocco could provide opportunities to introduce our aero-derivative gas turbine technology into the Moroccan market. These partnerships would focus in the first phase on strategic alliances to develop and deploy power generation projects and once developed we could be looking to partner with local service companies to ensure speed in delivering our aftermarket services and ensuring our end users are content with our local services.

2- Government Agencies: Partnering with government agencies in Morocco, such as the Ministry of Energy Transition or the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN), could facilitate the implementation of energy projects and support the country’s energy transition goals. These collaborations may involve policy development, providing technical expertise, or participating in government-led initiatives.

3- Financial Institutions: Collaborating with financial institutions, such as development banks or investment funds, could help secure funding for energy projects in Morocco. That could involve structuring various project financing arrangements aimed at promoting reliable and sustainable energy development in the country.

By leveraging strategic partnerships and collaborations, Mitsubishi Power Aero can enhance its presence in Morocco, capitalizing on market opportunities, and contribute to the country’s energy transition and sustainable development objectives.

How does Mitsubishi Power Aero integrate sustainability into its products and services, and what innovations can we expect in this regard?

Mitsubishi Power Aero integrates sustainability into its products and solutions through various initiatives aimed at reducing environmental impact, improving energy efficiency, and promoting the transition to cleaner energy sources. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

1- Efficient Gas Turbine Technology: Mitsubishi Power Aero develops and manufactures advanced gas turbines that are designed for high efficiency and low emissions. We have 2 major products and solutions: 30 MW FT8® MOBILEPAC® and 70/140 MW FT4000® SWIFTPAC® gas turbine packages that utilize state-of-the-art combustion technologies, advanced materials, and innovative design features to minimize fuel consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions per unit of electricity generated. 

2- Flexibility and Grid Integration: Mitsubishi Power Aero’s gas turbines are designed to provide flexible and fast-starting (under 5 mins. to full power from cold condition) power generation capabilities, enabling better integration with intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. This helps to enhance grid stability and reliability while supporting the transition to a more sustainable energy mix.

3-Emissions Reduction Technologies: Mitsubishi Power Aero invests in research and development of emissions reduction technologies, such as advanced combustion systems and selective catalytic reduction (SCR). These technologies help to minimize air pollutants such as Nitrogen oxides (NOx), Sulfur oxides (Sox), and particulate matter, contributing to cleaner air and improved environmental quality.

4- Digital Solutions and Optimization: Mitsubishi Power Aero incorporates digitization and data analytics into its products and services to optimize performance, reduce downtime, and enhance operational efficiency. By leveraging remote real-time data monitoring and diagnostic reporting, Mitsubishi Power Aero helps customers maximize energy output while minimizing resource consumption and emissions.

5- Lifecycle sustainability: Mitsubishi Power Aero considers sustainability throughout the lifecycle of its products and solutions, from design and manufacturing to operation and decommissioning. This includes efforts to minimize waste generation, optimize resource utilization, and implement environmentally responsible practices at every stage of the product and solution lifecycle in both projects where we just supply the gas turbine package and projects where we provide an EPC or Turnkey solutions.

Mitsubishi Power Aero continues to focus on developing technologies and solutions that further improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions, and enable greater integration of renewable energy sources.  This includes advancement in turbine design, combustion technology, and digitization.  The most important part of innovation and sustainability in the context of the Energy Transition is our roadmap for 100% hydrogen capability by 2035, with an interim plan of 30% capability by 2025.

Mitsubishi Power Aero is committed to advancing sustainability in the power generation industry through continuous innovation, collaboration with our strategic customers, suppliers and partners as well as with our parent company, and a holistic approach to environmental stewardship.

Are there any specific projects, technologies, or success stories from Mitsubishi Power Aero that you would like to showcase during Morocco Energy Week, and how do they align with the energy needs of the region?

As Mitsubishi Power Aero prepares to participate in Morocco Energy Week, it stands at the forefront of the energy landscape, offering innovative solutions tailored to meet the evolving needs of the region. With a commitment to sustainability, reliability and performance, Mitsubishi Power Aero brings a wealth of experience in providing advanced gas turbine technology and services to support Morocco’s energy transition goals. 

ISOCHRONOUS LOAD SHARING:

One of the key advantages of our aero-derivative gas turbine packages is the ability to operate in an isochronous load-sharing mode, a key feature that facilitates grid and frequency stability.  

In this mode, each of the units can exchange information to regulate the generators to maintain frequency during load imbalances. The generators can pick up or reject loads quickly to maintain a constant frequency. An isochronous load-sharing application can be used for islanded or grid-connected sites, allowing for rapid changes in power and response, and helping to stabilize the grid.

This technique can be used at any location where a customer needs to have a stable means to coordinate the control of multiple and diverse power sources. It is also an ideal way to help stabilize grids that depend on volatile renewable sources with gas turbine backup. This feature delivers optimal value to customers ensuring better power quality, higher reliability, and lower equipment lifecycle costs.

As an example, The FT8 MOBILEPAC gas turbine units play a critical role in gas turbine backup and grid firming for the grid in the Adrar region, Algeria, due to their outstanding performance and reliability. The FT8 MOBILEPAC units take the lead in grid firming often during the summer peak period.

Algeria: 

In Algeria, we have 54 FT8® MOBILEPAC® units(almost equivalent to 1.5 GW of power generation assets) installed across the country in the last decade. Algeria utilized our solutions as a baseload power in the first few years when the country had challenges in ensuring energy security. Right now, the units continue to deliver power where and when the country needs it most by relocating them with a minimum cost and time helping to stabilize and respond to grid shortages with fast ramp-up capabilities.  Those units will also support Algeria in its energy transition, bridging the gap and eliminating intermittency when more renewable energy sources are connected to the grid. We have delivered those solutions on a turnkey basis, helping our customer Sonelgaz to ensure energy security, while not having to deal with multiple stakeholders during the execution phase. We continue to service those units and ensure our customer gets immediate and reliable access to our aftermarket services.

At the Zaouiet Kounta plant, Sonelgaz decided to designate all four of the FT8 MOBILEPAC gas as grid pilot units (these units alone would regulate the voltage and the frequency of the grid). Mitsubishi Power Aero Isochronous Load Sharing was installed in October 2019, and since that time no frequency fluctuations have occurred. During maintenance, the operating system dispatcher may decide to stop only one gas turbine unit and keep the other three running in load-sharing ISO-Precise Mode. This ensures that the FT8 MOBILEPAC units at the Zaouiet Kounta plant are continuously on the grid to take the lead in case of need. 

The client decided to operate all of the other OEM units in parallel mode only throughout the Adrar region grid, and depend on the Mitsubishi Power Aero MOBILEPAC units for all load sharing. Subsequently, a total of twelve gas turbine units are operating in this mode in the Adrar region. In all categories, customer satisfaction remains extremely high.

Rest of MENAT: 

For another project in Saudi Arabia, we have recently delivered multiple FT8® MOBILEPAC® units (that will generate close to 100 MW when operational) to support the initial baseload requirement as our customer continues to plan and develop more renewable energy projects. Those units will contribute to the reliability of the grid supply and integrate with renewable energy sources, minimizing intermittency caused by renewable energy sources.

Within the MENAT region, we also have about 400 MW of FT4000® SWIFTPAC® units operating as peakers in integration with renewable energy. We have delivered this solution on a turnkey basis with a preferred service agreement that gives the customer flexibility and delivers optimal reliability and availability. 

Mitsubishi Power Aero continues to focus in the MENAT region and the rest of the globe on ensuring our customers gain access to the latest advancement of our technology by either entering into LTSA agreements and/or executing upgrades and retrofits. This ensures our customers continue to leverage our technology development over the lifecycle of their assets as well as maintain energy-efficient improvement in support of a sustainable energy transition.

Powering Excitement: Mitsubishi Power Aero's Eager Anticipation for Morocco Energy Week

Mitsubishi Power Aero continues to be a leader in providing advanced gas turbine technology and we are excited to participate in Morocco Energy Week. Mitsubishi Power Aero aims to demonstrate its capacity to address Morocco's diverse energy needs. From efficient gas turbine solutions to renewable integration technologies and digitalization initiatives, Mitsubishi Power Aero highlights its ability to support Morocco's energy transition goals. With a focus on reliability, efficiency, and environmental stewardship, Mitsubishi Power Aero showcases its readiness to contribute to Morocco's journey towards a sustainable and resilient energy future. By engaging with local stakeholders and fostering collaboration, Mitsubishi Power Aero seeks to play a vital role in shaping Morocco's energy landscape and promoting a cleaner, more efficient energy ecosystem reaffirming its commitment to driving innovation and sustainable development in the Moroccan energy sector.

What is your vision for the future of Mitsubishi Power Aero's involvement in the Moroccan energy market, and how do events like Morocco Energy Week contribute to achieving that vision?

Our vision for the future of Mitsubishi Power Aero’s involvement in the Moroccan energy market is one of partnership, innovation, and sustainability. We envision Mitsubishi Power Aero as a key player in Morocco’s energy transition, providing cutting-edge solutions that address the country’s evolving energy needs while contributing to its economic growth and environmental goals. 

Events like Morocco Energy Week play a crucial role in realizing this vision by serving as platforms for collaboration, knowledge exchange, and early market engagement. Through participation in this event, Mitsubishi Power Aero can forge strategic partnerships with local stakeholders, showcase its latest technologies and innovations, and gain valuable insights into the specific challenges and opportunities present in the Moroccan energy market.

By leveraging these opportunities, Mitsubishi Power Aero aims to expand its global and regional presence to Morocco, delivering tailored solutions that drive efficiency, reliability, and sustainability across the energy value chain. Whether through the deployment of advanced gas turbine technology, complementing renewable energy sources, or the implementation of digital solutions for enhanced asset performance, Mitsubishi Power Aero is keen to support Morocco’s energy transition journey.

Ultimately, our vision is to be a trusted partner and a catalyst for positive change in the Moroccan energy market, helping to build a more resilient, sustainable, and prosperous energy future for the country and its people. Through ongoing collaboration and a shared commitment to excellence, we believe that Mitsubishi Power Aero can play a significant role in shaping the future of energy in Morocco and beyond.

Our mission is to deliver power where and when the world needs it most and in the context of Morocco, the country needs that most to ensure energy transition and security.

We look forward to this strategic Morocco Energy Week on June 11-13.

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