The wind farm that provides 50% of the electrical needs of the Lafarge cement plant in Tetouan, Northern Morocco, was officially registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) by the CDM Executive Committee in Bonn on 23 September 2005. The wind farm in Tetouan has benefited from the support of the Moroccan and French authorities : it's the first project ever approved by the French “Mission Interministérielle de l'Effet de Serre”. It is the first CDM project registered to the CDM Executive Board for Morocco and France.
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol sets quantitative targets for industrialised countries to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions: by 2008-2012, emissions must be reduced by 5.2% from 1990 levels. The protocol authorises three flexibility mechanisms:
- Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM),
- Joint Implementation (JI), which are equivalent to CDMs, primarily for emerging countries (such as Eastern Europe and Russia),
- Emissions Trading (ET).
These mechanisms are meant to help industrialised countries meet their quantified targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (appendix) and help emerging countries achieve sustainable development goals.
Registration of the wind farm is the final step in the CDM process. The project will generate emissions credits after certification that emissions have actually been reduced after one year of operation.
The twelve wind turbines started operating on 20 May 2005. With an output of 850 KW each, together they will generate total output of 10 MW (in compliance with Moroccan legislation limiting the amount of private electrical power generation). The turbines are located on the site of the cement plant, particularly exposed to the wind. The average wind speed exceeds 9 m/s. At the world level, wind speeds of 7 to 8 m/s are considered to offer strong potential for the development of wind farms.
The location was carefully studied before erecting the wind turbines. Lafarge invited the neighbouring communities – who were not at all familiar with wind power – to visit another wind farm in Northern Morocco to judge the visual impact and low audible nuisance for themselves. After reassuring local residents, Lafarge also investigated the flight corridors of migratory birds. In the end, the wind turbines were carefully integrated within the landscape. They were installed on the crest of a hill, 250 meters from the nearest residences (surpassing French standards, which call for 80 m).
The cost of the wind farm is estimated at about €10m.
When the cement plant is undergoing maintenance, any surplus electrical power generated by the wind farm will be resold to the Office National d'Electricité (ONE), according to a buyback contract signed with ONE.
The wind farm will help curtail climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (by 30,000 tonnes a year). The annual environmental benefit for the planet is equivalent to planting 2 million trees.
As part of its firm commitment to sustainable development, Lafarge is implementing different forms of renewable energy depending on locally available resources, such as rice husks in the Philippines, coffee husks in Uganda…
The Group currently has two other CDM projects:
- In Malaysia, palm kernel shells are used as an alternative to fossil fuels,
- In Brazil, industrial wastes are substituted for limestone, which is a non-renewable natural resource, to manufacture cement.
1. Created in 1995, Lafarge Maroc is 50% owned by the Lafarge group in a 50/50 partnership with SNI/ONA (Société Nationale d'Investissement/Omnium Nord Africain). Lafarge manages the joint venture. The company has four cement plants in Bouskoura, Tanger, Meknes and Tetouan, with a total capacity of 4.2 million tonnes (before the 960,000-tonne extension of production capacity at Bouskoura). The Lafarge cement plant at Tetouan, which opened on 28 May 2004, is entirely new and was built to comply with the state-of-the-art production standards. It was designed to hold a second production line with a 1 million tonne capacity, to be operational by 2008.
2. Lafarge, the world leader in building materials, holds top-ranking positions in all four of its Divisions: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete, Roofing and Gypsum. Lafarge employs 77,000 people in 75 countries and posted sales of €14.4 billion in 2004.
Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions ("Factors"), which are difficult to predict. Some of the Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: the cyclical nature of the Company's business; national and regional economic conditions in the countries in which the Group does business; currency fluctuations; seasonal nature of the Company's operations; levels of construction spending in major markets; supply/demand structure of the industry; competition from new or existing competitors; unfavorable weather conditions during peak construction periods; changes in and implementation of environmental and other governmental regulations; our ability to successfully identify, complete and efficiently integrate acquisitions; our ability to successfully penetrate new markets; and other Factors disclosed in the Company's public filings with the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers and the US Securities and Exchange Commission including its Reference Document and annual report on Form 20-F. In general, the Company is subject to the risks and uncertainties of the construction industry and of doing business throughout the world. The forward-looking statements are made as of this date and the Company undertakes no obligation to update them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.