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Safi power station, Morocco

Clean coal power for nationals and renewables for export to Europe? The interesting story of Safi, whose citizens do not believe in the clean power promises and they still remember air pollution from major sulphur dioxide leaks five years ago.


The Safi power station project includes a proposed coal-fired thermal plant, which would be located just outside of the city of Safi, situated between Agadir and Casablanca alongside the Atlantic coast.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Safi power station, Morocco
State or province:Doukkala-Abda region
Location of conflict:Safi (called Asfi in Berber)
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Safi coal-fired thermal powerplant would have a capacity of around 1,320 MW.

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Project area:N/A
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectEstimated cost: 2,700,000,000 USD
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:Up to 200,000 affected by air pollution of the city of Safi
Start of the conflict:01/03/2014
Company names or state enterprises:Safi Energy Company S.A. from Morocco
Nareva Holding from Morocco
GDF Suez (GDF Suez) from France
Mitsui & Co Ltd from Japan
Daewoo International from Republic of Korea
Relevant government actors:Office National de l'Éléctricité et de l'Eau Potable (ONEE)
International and Finance InstitutionsBank of Japan from Japan
BMCE Bank from Morocco
Attijariwafa Bank from Morocco
Attijariwafa Bank from Morocco
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:ضد مشروع المحطة الحرارية- آسفي
Contre Centrale Thermique (Unofficial translation: Against the thermal power plant project– Safi):
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsRespiratory problems
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Proposal and development of alternatives:A representative of a local environmental organization holding a campaign against the thermal power station said that local protesters would call for a solar energy plant to be built instead of the thermal plant.[2]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite opposition from local residents, the Safi coal-fired thermal powerplant is now under construction.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Safi Energy secures $2.6 billion financing to build Moroccan power plant, by Aziz El Yaakoubi and Pravin Char, Reuters, 18 September 2014,
[click to view]

[2] Moroccans protest against new 'polluting' power plant, by salaheddinabir, France International News 24/7, The Observers, 3 April 2014,
[click to view]

Safi independent power project (2x693 MW) in Morocco reaches Financial Close and will start construction, Press Release, GDF Suez, 18 September 2014,
[click to view]

Safi: Les habitants manifestent contre le projet de centrale thermique, by Ristel Tchounand, Yabiladi, 3 April 2014,
[click to view]

Safi thermal power plant project, Morocco, by Sheila Barradas, Creamer Media's Engineering News, 24 October 2014,
[click to view]

U.S. Department of the Interior (2010), 2008 Minerals Yearbook, Morocco and Western Sahara, The Mineral Industries of Morocco and Western Sahara, by Harold R. Newman, U.S. Geological Survey, September 2010,
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Video of March 2014 protests in Safi:
[click to view]

Meta information
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1917
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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