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Opportunities for Solid Waste Equipment in Morocco

The Moroccan market for pollution control equipment and services offers numerous opportunities. The Moroccan economic, social and demographic development of the last decades, combined with successive droughts and years of neglect put an excessive pressure on the country's scarce natural resources.

In 1999, the cost of the degradation to the environment by water sewage, gas and solid waste was evaluated at $2 billion (8% of the country's GDP). The country has reached a threshold where its economic growth is endangered by the damage caused to its environment and has become fully aware that sustainable development cannot be achieved at the detriment of natural resources and degradation of the environment.

In July 2000, the Secretary of State for Environment (SE) adopted the new National Action Plan for Environment (PANE). The PANE identified 109 projects, the financing of which (42% = $39 M) is the SE's budget. These projects must be achieved within the time frame of the Moroccan 2000-2004 National Development Action Plan (DPES).

The Government of Morocco's new draft law, to be signed in the near future, will update the country's 1914 environmental legislation. Under the new law, the damage will be defined and quantified. Industries will be required to upgrade their equipment, and, in case of re-location, will have to build new factories in suburban locations.

In addition to the domestic concerns (health, tourism promotion, protection of the country's key sectors, agriculture and fishing), international agreements pressure Morocco towards a massive cleanup.

The association agreement signed with the European Union in 1996, implemented in March 2000, calls for an improvement of the Moroccan industrial competitiveness through implementation of environmental treatments. The world trade agreement (WTO) signed by Morocco, and international environmental agreements (Paris, Rome, Geneva, Rio, and Montreal) also obligates the country to upgrade all the sectors.


Solid waste management

Current expenditures in solid waste management by Morocco are estimated at only $30 million. Compared to Western countries, Morocco is a small producer of consumer goods and waste. However, since 1979, the production of solid waste (household, hospital, and industrial waste) has experienced unprecedented increase, neglect and has become a critical issue. This sector evidences great need for technology and services, but unfortunately local communities find it difficult in allocating adequate funding in their budgets for tackling the solid waste issue.

Morocco generates more than 7 million tons/year of solid waste:
- Urban and household waste: 4,000,000 T
- Rural areas waste: 2,000,000 T
- industrial waste 1,000,000 T
- Hospital wastes 20,000 T

In main cities, waste is irregularly collected and collection is literally absent in suburbs. In urban areas, out of the 4 million tons that are generated yearly, 70-90% is not properly collected. Rural areas collect up to 10%. Only 2% of the total amount of waste is recycled. The whole country has only 2 compost units.

There are presently no controlled landfills in Morocco. The existing dumpsites are at "level zero" (open), approaching or exceeding their maximum capacity and none of them meets the standard of a controlled landfill.

To address solid waste issues, the Moroccan Government drafted a bill on solid waste management. The draft law stipulates that, effective February 1999, the Urban Communities (that have charge of landfill management) and their Urban Communes (that have charge of collection) have 3 years to insure that household waste is properly collected and dumped in controlled landfills. Urban Communities and their Communes that comprise more than 50,000 inhabitants will have 5 years to put in place selection and treatment systems.

The trend of solid waste disposal is moving fast towards delegation of the management to private firms. Studies have been undertaken nationwide. The city of Fez issued an international tender for the privatization of its landfill management, the study of which was completed by the American Firm Sadat. The American Edgeboro consortium, which bid for the concession, would introduce top-notch technology, if selected. The outcome of this bid is anxiously awaited. Tangiers (assisted by the Spanish government) is identifying a new site for its controlled landfill, and the largest Moroccan city, Casablanca, which generates 3,000 tons/day of solid waste, is presently considering a TDA-grant study for technical assistance to help the City launch its international tender for solid waste management.

Air quality

Moroccan air pollution is an acute issue and listed as the second priority after water resources. Air quality is constantly deteriorated by industries that use old and inadequate technologies.

The first pollution source is the very low oil quality used by the Moroccan Government in its energy sector. The latter was responsible for 40% of the SO2 emission, 8% of NOx and 16% of SP. 75% of the total NOx is emitted by vehicles and furnaces (50% of Moroccan vehicles are more than 10).

Pollution sources
Industries Transportation Total
SO2 210 27 237
NOx 8 393 401
SP 12 15 27

Out of the 210,000 tons of industrial SO2 emission, more than 90% come from sulfide acid plants, of which two are located in cities of Safi and El Jadida.

Air pollution trends:
- Industries (1982) 129 5 7 N.D. (not defined)
- Industries (2020) 540 21 30 N.D.
- Transportation (1982 13 203 8 0.26
- Transportation (2020) 46 672 26 0.35

Government agencies emissions (1992 figures in tons)
- Power plant (ONE): 112,700 26,800 3,459
- SCP 2,720 284 95
- Oil refinery (SAMIR) 19,850 1,985 725
Total 135,270 29,069 4,279

Morocco signed the Montreal Protocol agreement and was granted a total of $6.5 M to help eliminate the use of harmful substances by January 1, 2005. Eleven local companies in the industrial and commercial cooling, and the foam sectors started to upgrade their equipment. American technical assistance and technologies to succeed in the re-conversion process is much in need in this sector.

Urban air quality
The air pollution measurement is infrequent and performed by mobile public laboratories in only two cities: Rabat, the capital city (17% of total vehicles) and Casablanca, due to its economical position (12% of the total population; 43% of total industries, 37% of total vehicles). SO2 concentrations exceed the Moroccan standard (100), with a peak of 144µg/m3 in Rabat and 3811µg/m3 in the industrialized area of Casablanca (Ain Sebaa); the results for SP (445µg/m3 in Rabat, 700µg/m3 in the industrial Casablanca) exceed the Morocco standard (400).

Statistical Data


Projected Average

YearYearYearAnnual Growth Rate
199819992000for following 2 years
Import Market19722323835%
Local Production00010%
Exports 0001%
Total Market19722325035%
Imports from U.S.35454820%

Exchange Rate: 1US$ = 9.7 Dirhams.
Estimated Future Inflation Rabat: 3% (Official Embassy figure)

1999 Import Market Share: France (22%), USA (20%), Germany (18%), Spain (13%), Japan (12%), Italy (9%), Sweden (6%)

Source: Unofficial figures.

Best Prospects:

Solid waste:
- Solid waste management firms
- composting units
- measurement equipment for control of the environment (e.g. water ground)
- industrial recycling equipment

Air pollution
- gas testing
- filtering equipment
- purifying equipment
- monitoring instruments
- gas, smoke, particulate samplers
- desulfurization equipment
- Industrial gas cleaning equipment.


There is no competition from local producers since all equipment and spare parts are imported and count for 100% of the total market.

During the last decades, France had a large market share of imports (22%%). This was mainly due to the cultural ties kept between engineers, lab technicians and decision-makers, and the location of studies. Catalogues and technical specifications are easily accessed (French). The arguments of proximity of France (for quick delivery of spare parts and technical assistance), along with high freight charges discouraged from importing from other countries. New cultural ties with the U.S. and a better dissemination of the information on U.S. products (with Internet) have weighed the trend towards American technology and expertise. The local market is expecting new deals with its partners and looks for a demarcation from Europe. American Air filter is well introduced in the Market; other brands are Mitsubishi and Shimazu (Japan), Ridel (Germany).

American products meet a tough competition from European countries (France, Spain, and Germany). These countries granted loans (French's FOGAFAM) to small and medium size firms to focus on the purchase of French, Spanish equipment and services. The Association of Moroccan firms (CGEM)'s Center for Clean Production supports cleanups through the German cooperation ($10 M). US Ex-Im Bank is poised to offer generous financing packages for importers of U.S. environmental goods and equipment. As noted, the US Trade and Development Agency has been very active in Morocco with grants and technical assistance to help meet environmental needs and obligations.

American pollution control technology, expertise, innovation, and know-how are highly regarded by the Moroccan Government as well as by local private firms. U.S. products are reputed to offer better guarantees due to the high requirements of the American quality control. In addition, American firms offer a worldwide greater experience in this sector, which is new to Moroccan public and private firms. This is especially true when it becomes necessary to adapt U.S. equipment to local weather conditions. Unlike Europe, the USA states offer climates that compare to the Moroccan's and U.S. firms are in a better position to obtain longer lifetime. The Moroccan market has a great confidence in the American training and technology transfer.


Solid Waste:
- Government Agencies:
Local collectivities
Urban Communities, Urban Communes

Industrial pollution
- Government agencies:
National Office of Electricity (ONE)
Port Authorities (ODEP)
Oil Refinery (SAMIR)
- Private sector:
Cement works
Chemical and related industries
Canning factories,
Oil factories
Sugar refineries

Air pollution
- Public Laboratory for Testing and Studies (Laboratoire Public d'Essais et d'Etudes (LPEE))


Management of solid waste is the responsibility of the Government offices (Urban Communities) and awarded to private firms through international tenders.

Procurement of industrial pollution control systems to Government agencies (Electricity office, Phosphate office) is also subject to international calls for bids.

Public International tenders are published in the newspapers and usually transmitted to Embassies. Bidding documents are issued in French and offers must be submitted in French. The Commercial Service in Casablanca is prepared to assist in collecting and dispatching bidding documents. International Tenders are posted on the internet through FCS in Casablanca with deadlines and bid costs noted.

Import climate: All equipment is imported freely into Morocco. Import duties vary from 2.5% to 35%. A value added tax of 20% and local taxes of 15% increase the import duties to over 50% in some cases.


A local agent is helpful in processing the imports into Morocco. Local experienced distributors can be selected through the American Embassy Agent/Distributor Services. Local firms prefer either a direct purchase from the U.S. or a local agent since distribution through a distributor located in Europe can increase the prices by 40%. Firms should also be able to provide after-sale service.

Key Contacts


Secretariat d'Etat Chargé de l'Environnement (State Secretary for Environment)
Ministère de l'Aménagement du Territoire, de l'Urbanisme, de l'Habitat et de l'Environnement
36 Avenue Al Abtal
Agdal, Rabat
Tel: (212-37) 77 26 34, 77 27 59
Fax: (212-37) 77 26 62
Contacts: Mr. Ahmed Bouhaouili, Secretary General

Observatoire National de l'Environnement (National Environemental Observatory)
4 rue Oum Erbia et angle rue Oqba
Agdal, Rabat
Tel: (212-37) 68 15 00
Fax: (212-37) 77 26 62
Contact: Mr. Mourad Amil, Chief of the National Observatory

Ministère de l'Intérieur (Ministry of Interior)
Direction Générale des Collectivités Locales (Directorate of Local Collectivities)
Quartier Administratif
Tél: (212-37) 76 13 26
Fax: (212-37) 76 59 25
Contact: Mr. Omar Bahraoui, General Manager

Communauté Urbaine de Casablanca (Urban Community of Casablanca)
Place des Nations Unies
Tel: (212-22) 22 41 83
Fax: (212-22) 26 32 82
E-mai: --
Mr. Saad el Abbassi, City Mayor
Ms. Samia Benjelloun, Director, Environemental Department

Fonds de Dépollution Industrielle (FODEP) (Industrial de-pollution fund)
C/o Secretariat d'Etat chargé de l'Environnement
Cellule FODEP
75 rue du Sebou
Agdal, Rabat
Tel: (212-37) 68 15 00, 68 07 43, 68 07 44
Fax: (212-37) 68 07 46

Laboratoire Public d'Essais et d'Etudes (LPEE)
25 rue d'Azilal
Tel: (212-22) 30 75 10, 30 04 50, 30 43 00
Fax: (212-22) 30 15 50, 45 01 49
E-mail: lpee@com
Mr. Mohamed Jellali, General Manager
Mr. El Hadj Jabry, Chief in Charge of Environment
Mr. Abdelmohcine Karioun, Chief in Charge of Air Quality.


Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM) (Association of Moroccan firms)
Angle Avenue des F.A.R. et rue Mohamed Rachid
Tel: (212-22) 25 26 96/97/98/99
Fax: (212-22) 25 38 39
E-mail: cgem@mail.cbi.net.ma
Mr. Hassan Chami, President
Ms. Asmae Tazi, Head of the Environmental Department

Centre Marocain de Production Propre (CMPP) (Moroccan Center for Clean Production)
C/o Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM)
Angle Avenue des F.A.R. et rue Mohamed Rachid
Tel: (212-22) 25 26 96/97/98/99
Fax: (212-22) 25 38 39
E-mail: cgem@mail.cbi.net.ma

Federation de l'Industrie Minerale (Mining industry)
1 Place Al Istiqlal
Tel: (212-22) 30 68 98
Fax: (212-22) 31 99 96
Contact: Mr. Abdellaziz Abarro, President

Federation Marocaine des Industries de la Conserve au Maroc (Canning factories Association)
7 rue Alyarmouk (ex rue 5), Quartier Longchamp
Tel: (212-22) 36 50 42, 36 51 06
Fax: (212-22) 36 61 54

Association Professionnelle des Cimentiers (Cement work association)
231 Bd. de la Résistance, No. 5
Tel: (212-22) 29 59 61
Fax: (212-22) 29 52 74
Contact: Mr. Mohamed Chaibi, President


Groupe Stratégique pour la Défense de l'Environnement
2 Avenue Moulay Rachid
Espace Porte d'Anfa, No. 29
Casablanca Velodrome
Tel: (212-2) 94 89 88
Fax: (212-2) 94 89 99
E-mail: gren@mtds.com
Contact: Mr. Kamal Benjelloun, President

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