A joint venture consisting of ACCIONA Agua and ADASA has been awarded the contract to implement the automation and remote control of the water distribution networks of four cities in Morocco (Settat, Nador, Meknes and Ifrane and nearby localities) that cross the country from east to west in the northern part of the country from near Casablanca to close to the border with Melilla. The network will serve around 5.3 million people, around one-sixth of the country’s population, and the sum of the contract is 4 million euros-plus.
It is the first project of the Department of Automation and Control of ACCIONA Agua for a third party, in this case the National Office of Electricity and Potable Water of Morocco (ONEE, Office National de l'Electricité et de l´Éau Potable). To date, the company has worked in plants that it has built and/or is operating, for example, in Adelaide (Australia), Atotonilco (Mexico), Fujairah (UAE) or La China in Madrid.
The project involves the setting up of three supervision and monitoring centers and 108 control points to record information from the installations. The work will include – among other things – the supply and installation of control huts, instrumentation, security systems, equipment, furniture, hardware… and the development of control software, the remote management application, documentation, training and the maintenance of the plants.
The objectives are: i) to promote the prudent use of water resources, ii) guarantee potable water supplies and iii) operate the water capture and production installations efficiently, optimizing savings in costs and energy in the process.
The automation and control system is essential for the correct operation of water distribution systems. Nowadays, in any treatment or supply facility all the electrical equipment, pumps, meters, sensors, etc. are controlled by a programmable PLC equipped with digital inputs and outputs to receive signals from the equipment, manage the data and respond based on predetermined values. The PLC controls the operation of a number of key elements in the plant and provides up-to-date information on the processes that are taking place in the network.
ACCIONA Agua, in a joint venture with the Moroccan company EMT, is currently building a potabilization plant at Oum Azza – also for the ONEE - to improve water supplies to the Rabat-Casablanca coastal strip, one of the fastest-growing parts of the county in demographic terms with a population of over 5 million.
ACCIONA has been present in Morocco for more than 60 years and has worked in over 70 projects in the fields of port infrastructure, hydro, roads, airports, dams, educational centers, industrial complexes and a hospital. Notable examples are the 160-MW Noor-1 CSP plant in Ouarzazate or the Al Whada dam, the biggest in Morocco and the second largest in Africa at the time it was built. Trasmediterranea also offers daily car-ferry sailings between Tangiers−Algeciras and Nador−Almeria, with 50,000 places a day during the summer to deal with peak traffic across the Straits of Gibraltar.