The Spain-based company Abengoa has launched the sale of the Agadir desalination facility in Morocco, one of its main assets in the world, reports El Economista.
According to sources with knowledge of the operation, the firm has promoted the divestment of the 51% stake it holds in the concessionary company that operates the facility. This information is revealed only four months after the end of the contractual tests on the new plant.
El Economista states that the sale of the desalination plant has attracted the interest of international industrial groups and investment funds, including ACCIONA and French company Engie. Other firms like Aqualia, a subsidiary of FCC, Sacyr and Lantania, on the other hand, have not shown interest in the plant.
The desalination plant worth 41 billion Moroccan dirhams (nearly €3.9 billion) was financed by Abengoa and its local partner InfraMaroc, an investment fund launched by CDG Capital and backed by Morocco’s Caisse de dépôt et de gestion (CDG).
The facility has a 275,000 m3 total production capacity of desalinated water per day with the possibility of expanding the plant to up to 450,000 m3/day.
Abengoa had signed a contract to undertake the engineering, construction and operation and maintenance for a period of 27 years.
The company has begun the disinvestment of its assets, after it was forced to file for insolvency proceedings for its main unit in late June 2022 after the Spanish government refused to provide a state aid of 249 million euros ($261.2 million).
Potential buyers have already received details of the divestment and firms such as Acciona are analysing the process, according to El Economista.
Engie is also considering submitting a bid. With extensive experience in the country, it has a strategic alliance with the Moroccan company Nareva, with which it could compete. Other French companies such as Suez and Veolia and Japan's Mitsui, together with local firms, are also possible bidders.