Voici à quoi pourrait ressembler la première Gigafactory de batteries au Maroc  – Médias24

Voici à quoi pourrait ressembler la première Gigafactory de batteries au Maroc  - Médias24

On July 22, Minister Ryad Mezzour surprised everyone by announcing that Morocco was in talks with manufacturers to build an electric battery gigafactory for the automotive industry. This revelation was released by Reuters and Medias24.

Did this announcement have any consequences? Who is he talking to about Morocco? What could be the characteristics of this project? How does the minister justify this announcement criticized for reasons of confidentiality of the Moroccan strategy?

Ryad Mezzour answers our questions as part of this 2nd part of the interview-evaluation that we publish in 4 parts.

Médias24: Minister, did you have to talk about the Gigafactory? Was it necessary to talk about it, in this way, publicly?

-Of course we had to talk about that, for many reasons.

The operators need to have the leadership of the State, the orientation of the State, the motivation of the State.

In the discussions we had with the various partners, there was certainly interest. Morocco has certain assets to attract them, to attract investors in batteries; but we were a little long, a little slow. The pace had to be accelerated, because Europe, which is our main outlet, has accelerated the pace in terms of objectives and transformation. So we had to give our various partners a deadline, and I put before the end of the year as the deadline for completion.

The third reason is that it was necessary to capture the interest of groups or operators that were trying to position themselves in neighboring countries and that could put Morocco on the agenda.

What effect did that have? Those we discussed with went into more regular trades, today they ask for technical data, brought in two new traders. We meet today with 5 operators who are in the middle of the discussion with the ambition to conclude with at least one of them before the end of the year. It put Morocco back as a priority in the minds of our traditional partners who are the builders based here.

-You are saying that you have chosen to go on this excursion…

-Obviously. It is a choice that is part of a proactive strategy to install this gigafactory in Morocco, essential in the automotive ecosystem.

– So you are saying that Morocco had no choice, it had to do it…

-He has no choice and has all the assets to do so.

Morocco has no choice because 90% of our automotive exports go to Europe and Europe has decided from 2035 to switch to fully electric. So, if we don’t start discussions, if we don’t conclude with an operator, we won’t be able to assume this transition that has already begun and that will accelerate in the coming years.

The battery is a third of the value of the car.

We have worked for 15 years to achieve an integration rate of 64% which is one of the highest integration rates in the world, we will reach 80% and we could lose 20-30 points if we don’t play the game.

-Who are you arguing with since you mention 5 operators

-I can not speak about it, on the one hand in comparison with them and on the other hand not to arouse the interest of certain competitors. The operators in question are on three continents, America, Europe and Asia.

–Our colleague Le1 accused him of being in competition with the Jazouli department and with Amdie in investments. What do you say about it?

-Generally we work within the government in full synchronization. There may be sometimes, we cannot deny it, some friction but there is a positive emulation that is beneficial to move the issues forward.

We went together last month to the Farnborough Air Show to seek investment for Morocco.

-To return to the production of batteries, let’s try to imagine what a Gigafactory would be like in Morocco. To begin with, there would therefore be a foreign operator.

– Yes, there would be a foreign operator.

-Would he invest all the capital? Would there be Moroccans?

-With him would be Moroccan operators, in particular public, who are willing to accompany.

-Type of COG?

-CDG, Mohammed VI Fund or others….

-Let’s see what’s next. They bring a lot of technology… How are they going to do to lithium? You need long-term supply contracts.

-Again, it would be an operator with installations but it is not installed only in Morocco. Therefore, he would have already secured part of his supplies.

This operator would already be in production; or in prototyping with fundraising and also securing supplies.

It has also not escaped your notice that Renault has signed with Managem for the supply of Cobalt. it’s because of the battery

Morocco wants to enter this field with its strengths and these strengths are multiple. First, the outlets. We have two types of outlets for batteries: the automotive platform that by itself is capable of hosting a gigafactory and integrating its batteries produced in Morocco. But also for everything that is renewable energy, we could supply all the local production of electric vehicles and then start supplying the stationary ones.

There are two categories of batteries: those intended for mobility, for vehicles. And the so-called stationary ones, destined to store the electricity produced by renewable energies. The battery is one of the solutions to cover the storage needs in renewable energies.

-One can imagine that manufacturers could choose to source from Asia.

-No, his interest is to stock up in Morocco. And 90% of its production in Morocco goes to Europe.

So, in 2035, either we will produce batteries to equip these vehicles, because these batteries will be an integral part of cars; or the auto industry won’t. There will be hybrid vehicles for a while, then nothing. It would be the programmed death of our automotive platform.

-What is the order of magnitude of an investment in a gigafactory?

-Around 2,000 million euros.

– And the jobs?

-It all depends on capacity and scalability. A gigafactory consists of several lines, each line has a capacity of 3 to 4 gigabytes (GWh). It can supply approximately 40,000 to 60,000 cars, because it also depends on the size of the cars.

How many rows should we start with? 4? 5?

-You can have 2, 3 or 5 rows. It is modular, independent.

-You have presented the possible exits to potential investors…

-In our discussions, one of the assets that attracts investors is this ability to offer mobility and stationery.

-Hope to finish before the end of the year…

-I do everything for. I have high hopes

The interesting thing is that our partners are increasingly in a hurry. This statement has increasingly made them a positive emulation for being the first to settle in Morocco and to benefit from this accompaniment that Morocco will give to the first to take the step.

TO FOLLOW

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