Projects and public law in Morocco

Clifford Chance

The project finance practice at Clifford Chance is ‘excellent, dedicated, knowledgable and fun to work with‘. Clients praise practice head Mustapha Mourahib and newly promoted partner Ouns Lemseffer for being ‘fully engaged and familiar with lenders’ concerns‘. The firm continues to be a key adviser on major projects and energy transactions in Morocco, frequently assisting international and Moroccan sponsors and lenders in wind and solar energies.  It is currently advising Banque Centrale Populaire and Attijariwafa Bank on the financing of the 200MW Aftissat wind farm extension project.

Practice head(s):

Mustapha Mourahib

Other key lawyers:

Ouns Lemseffer

Testimonials

‘Very strong ability to deliver high-quality works while coping with tight deadlines. People bringing real added value, innovative ways and ideas to conduct business;’

‘Deep knowledge of legal and project financing practices. Availability, innovative solutions proposed, problem-solving oriented.’

‘Mustapha Mourahib’s team is excellent, dedicated, knowledgeable and fun to work with!’

‘Mustapha Mourahib and Ouns Lemseffer are fully engaged and familiar with lenders’ concerns. Their proactivity has been a key success factor in our collaboration.’

Key clients

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OCP

Africa50

Vantage Capital

Enel Green Power

Nareva Holding

BCP – Banque Centrale Populaire

CDG – Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion

Masen

A.P Moller

Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers

Work highlights

  • Advising Banque Centrale Populaire and Attijariwafa bank in relation to the framework of the financing of the Aftissat wind farm extension project with an additional capacity of 200MW to be developed by the company Energie Eolienne du Maroc S.A.
  • Advising Nareva Holding and Enel Green Power Morocco (the “Sponsors”) in relation to the financing of the wind farm located in Jbel Lahdid in Morocco. This is the third wind farm of the project that consists in the private power production of an installed capacity of 850 MW through 5 wind farms located in Midelt, Tiskrad, Tanger II, Jbel Lahdid and Boujdour and we have advised the Sponsors on the majority of these projects.

GIDE LOYRETTE NOUEL

Gide Cuatrecasas Casablanca has a specialist project finance and infrastructure team, as well as in-depth knowledge of the energy market and public law matters in Morocco and across Africa. The practice is led by Casablanca-based partner Wacef Bentaibi, who frequently acts for private operators, public entities and financial institutions in major infrastructure projects, PPPs, BOT deals and concessions, notably in the electricity, transportation, water and ports sectors. Bentaibi is advising the Kingdom of Morocco on a strategic study to reorganise electricity and water distribution in Moroccan regions.

Practice head(s):

Wacef Bentaibi

Key clients

Norsk Solar

Millennium Challenge Account Morocco

Nareva

Conoco Philips

Chariot Oil & Gas

Kingdom of Morocco

SDX Energy

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

EDF Maroc / EDF ENR

Voltalia Maroc

Work highlights

  • Assisting the client in relation to (i) the development of renewable energy projects the purpose of which is to supply electricity to mining sites and (ii) the development of new activities such as the production of uranium. This assistance includes advices on regulatory aspects, discussions with local authorities and comments on upcoming draft laws and regulations.
  • Assisting IFC in the audit phase, structuring, drafting and negotiation of a loan to the Region of Fès Meknès. Our assistance included and in-depth analysis of public law related matters including in relation to the status, budgetary process and prerogatives of Moroccan regions together with the audit of the underlying projects (financing of healthcare activities and improvement of roan networks within rural areas).
  • The firm, as part of a consulting consortium composed of Tilia, PWc and Calia Conseil, is currently advising the Kingdom of Morocco on legal aspects of a strategic study to reorganise the legal regime and contractual organisation of electricity and water distribution in Moroccan Regions.

Mernissi - FIGES

Following the sad passing in 2021 of Professor Mohamed El Mernissi, who founded the firm in 1976, Mernissi – FIGES has rebuilt its team with the hire of Saad El Mernissi from DLA Piper. He brings extensive experience in energy projects, which complements the in-depth knowledge of Lamya El Mernissi, who is currently advising BMCE Bank of Africa on the €309m development in Agadir of the world’s largest seawater desalinisation plant. She is also assisting ONEE on numerous public tender processes.

Practice head(s):

Lamya El Mernissi

Other key lawyers:

Saad El Mernissi

Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy

The public law practice at Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy is known for its work in complex matters concerning the financing and structuring of large-scale projects, the management of municipal public services such as urban public transportation, power distribution, water distribution, sewage services and waste management. It also has market-leading corporate and finance teams, who advise on foreign investments and the privatisation of public companies. Project finance partners Hicham NaciriAntoine Haddad and Yassir Ghorbal are all highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Hicham Naciri; Antoine Haddad; Yassir Ghorbal

Key clients

Nareva

Office National de l’électricité et de l’eau potable (ONEE)

Tanger Med special agency (TMSA)

Société de gestion de la Loterie Nationale marocaine (SGLN)

Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD)

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)

EDF Renouvelables

Mitsui & Co Ltd

TAQA Morocco

IFC

Managem

International Power

Work highlights

  • Advised Oragroup and Banque Ouest-Africaine de Développement (BOAD) as co-arrangers mandated by Eranove and the lenders (including BOAD, AFC and commercial banks) to structure, arrange and syndicate financing in Euro and CFA Francs for the construction, operation and maintenance of a project for a tri-fuel thermal plant.
  • A&O is advising EDF Renouvelables and Mitsui in relation to the financing of the development, construction, operation and maintenance of the Taza Wind Farm in Morocco.
  • A&O has advised IFC in relation to a USD100 million loan package for the subnational government of Casablanca-Settat’s infrastructure projects in Morocco – including the construction of two new tramway lines and upgrade of rural roads.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is a key adviser to foreign investors involved in large-scale projects in Morocco, notably in the infrastructure, transport, tourism and energy sectors. Practice head Alain Malek continues to assist the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy on its Noor Midelt solar programme, which will use hybrid technologies to generate an aggregate capacity of 800MW. He also advised Banque Centrale Populaire on a €133m financing for the construction of Container Terminal 3 at the Tanger Med 2 port. 

Practice head(s):

Alain Malek

Key clients

Akwa Group

Attijariwafa Bank

Morrocan Angency for Sustainable Energy

Akwa Group

Attijariwafa Bank

Morrocan Angency for Sustainable Energy

Work highlights

  • Advising Masen on solar programme Noor midelt using hybrid technologies for an aggregate capacity of 800MW. We are advising Masen on all aspects of the Noor Midelt Project for an aggregate capacity of 800MW of solar hybrid CSP and PV technologies with a minimum of 5 hours storage. Noor Midelt is the first complex that specifies hybrid plants including both CSP and PV with minimum of 5 hours storage.
  • Advised Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) group on the €133m financing of part of the construction costs of Container Terminal 3 (TC3) at the Tanger Med 2 port in Morocco, operated by Tanger Alliance.
  • Assisting the Moroccan National Railways Office ONCF, which is a Public Establishment on a strategic partnership with OCP Group.

Afrique Advisors

Afrique Advisors focuses on business law, tax law and institutional relations, through which it has significant experience in project development and public law. It brings it expertise in restructuring, commercial matters, capital markets, financing, regulatory advice and dispute resolution to bear on major projects. Indeed, the firm recently created distinct departments for finance and regulatory work to handle increasingly complex matters, including major cross-border mergers and project development in key sectors such as renewable energy. Laila Slassi is the lead partner.

Practice head(s):

Laila Slassi

ASAFO & CO. MOROCCO Sarl

The projects and PPP practice at ASAFO & CO. MOROCCO Sarl has developed a strong pipeline of work in key sectors such as energy, infrastructure and transport. Lead partner Louis Dubois advised GARAN group on the development of the new city of greater Casablanca called, which includes development of integrated urban centres in partnership with the Municipality of Casablanca. The firm is also assisting Alstom Transport Maroc with the contract for the supply and maintenance of rolling stock of the Tangier Casablanca High Speed Line.

Practice head(s):

Louis DUBOIS

Key clients

AUDA – Agence d’Urbanisation et de Développement d’Anfa

UTAC Holding and FEV

GARAN (Bin Laden Group)

GENAFRIC

UPLINE CORPORATE FINANCE

Alstom Transport Maroc

Casa Transports

LYDEC (Lyonnaise des Eaux Casablanca – Suez Group)

Société Nationale des Autoroutes du Maroc (ADM)

Agadir Mobilité SA

Fes Parkings SA

EET

Enel Green Power S.p.A, through its subsidiary Enel Green Power Morocco

Réseau Gazier du Sénégal

Société des Lagunes

Work highlights

  • Advised on the development of the new city of greater Casablanca called” Victoria “. The GARAN groups are specialized in the development of integrated urban centers in partnership with the Municipality of Casablanca. Currently advising Garan on the renegotiation of the contract concluded with the local authorities for the development of the new town.
  • Assisting Alstom Transport Maroc in connection with several issues related to the performance of the contract for the supply and maintenance of rolling stock of the Tangier Casablanca High Speed Line (namely the lifting of reservations in connection with the acceptance of the rolling stock, pre-claim against the adverse party, release of bank guarantees).
  • Advised ADM in connection with the procuring of a facility management contract for all the Moroccan motorway network in Morocco including: structuring the project; drafting of tender documents; assistance during negotiations with pre-qualified competitors.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper‘s projects, energy and infrastructure practice in Casablanca was established five years ago, since when it has developed a prominent role in major projects in the renewable energy, natural resources, infrastructure, water and power sectors. Its work spans financing, construction, concessions, partnerships and related disputes. Former practice head Saad El Mernissi moved to Mernissi – FIGES. Finance partner Fabrice Armand and corporate partner Franck Coudert are the key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Fabrice Armand

Other key lawyers:

Franck Coudert

Key clients

Attijariwafa Bank

The Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development

EBRD

Work highlights

  • Advising the Moroccan government on national energy strategy for 2030 in collaboration with Mckinsey & Company. The mission consists of:   Analysing the legal framework of the renewable and conventional energy sectors currently in force as well as the role of each public / private institution intervening in the sector.
  • Advising Attijariwafa Bank as lender in connection with a loan, for a total value of €23m, granted to Averda Tanger, the project company that owns and operates a waste management project in Tangier, Morocco.   The loan will finance the installation of a new waste treatment facility and the deployment of a new organic waste composting centre, sanitary landfill and gas recovery and leachate treatment units. This financing is the first project financing deal in the waste management sector in Morocco.
  • Advising EBRD for the drafting of the law on the downstream gas sector regulating the import, transport, storage, distribution and commercialisation of gas in Morocco including LNG facilities.

Mokhtari & Brahma Avocats

Mokhtari Avocats is a frequent adviser to international financial institutions and project companies and has seen its client base grow significantly since the firm was founded in 2018. Lead partner Ghalia Mokhtari, who is acknowledged as an expert in project finance, recently advised Italian company Cimolai-ANP on a €6.8m a public procurement contract with Morocco’s National Agency for Ports, which will see the construction of a dry dock gate for the port of Casablanca.

Practice head(s):

Ghalia Mokhtari

El Amari & Rouissi

El Amari & Rouissi frequently plays a key role in landmark infrastructure and industrial projects, working mostly for large domestic corporations, but also assisting multinational companies with their inbound investments. Mohieddine El Amari  is currently assisting Arma Holding with a tender for a public contract for the management of waste collection and management worth MAD65m. Mariam Rouissi‘s finance and regulatory skills are a boon to the firm’s work in project finance.

Practice head(s):

Mariam Rouissi; Mohieddine El Amari

Key clients

SEVREX

ARMA HOLDING

DERICHEBOURG ENVIRONNEMENT

CDG CAPITAL

FIDAL

The 20-lawyer Africa group at French firm FIDAL is run from both Paris and Casablanca and focuses on work across the continent. In Morocco, partner  Julie Claude is co-head of the group, bringing to bear her experience in advising public entities, private operators, financial investors, banks and other PPP stakeholders. The firm handles projects in key sectors such as infrastructure, energy, transport, telecommunications, health, education, water and waste. Claude is advising the State of Burkina Faso on the Ouagadougou Donsin International Airport project.

Practice head(s):

Julie Claude

Key clients

1. Casa Transports SA

2. Moroccan National Ports Agency

3. RATP Dev

4. WinWin Afrique Agora Ivoire SA

5. State of Burkina Faso

6. WAEMU Commission (funded by the World Bank)

7. Expertise France

Work highlights

  • Providing legal advice for seven years to the State of Burkina Faso, for the New Ouagadougou Donsin International Airport Project. Throughout the Ministry of Transportations and the Ministry of Finance, the executing agency is the Maîtrise d’Ouvrage de l’Aéroport de Donsin (MOAD). The total project cost is now of $612m and the 30-year concession, run by the French investment fund Meridiam, is coupled with a €200m investment.
  • Providing legal advice for agreements redaction and negotiations to RATP Dev in Burkina Faso. The Urban Mobility of Greater Ouaga Project (Ouagadougou and its outskirts concern more than 3m people in Burkina Faso) was been launched in 2018. In March 2021, the Council of Ministers has approved the project and the technical assistance contract with RATP Dev.

UGGC Africa

UGGC Africa has broad exposure to major projects and public law matters through its finance, corporate and tax practices. It handles PPP transactions, public construction law, urban planning and development, and project finance. Lead partner Ali Bougrine, who works in both Paris and Casablanca, is head of the firm’s Africa desk. He is supported by Laurent Sablé, who is adept in cross-border lending, corporate finance and M&A. The firm is assisting French company RATP with the execution of public transport contracts.

Practice head(s):

Ali Bougrine

Other key lawyers:

Laurent Sablé

Key clients

RATP DEV

Centre Monétique Interbancaire (CMI)

MATIS AEROSPACE  (A JOINT COMPANY OF BOEING AND SAFRAN)

FIPAR HOLDING

Work highlights

  • Assistance to RATP DEV in the conclusion and execution of public transport contracts.
  • Counsel to Centre Monétique Interbancaire (CMI) on all regulatory aspects and agreements related to the CMI activity.
  • Assistance to MATIS AEROSPACE (a joint company of Boeing and Safran) regarding all contractual issues such as public domain occupation agreements.