Moroccan confectionery producer taps into solar power with EBRD’s support

By Nibal Zgheib

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 Maghreb Industries builds modern, energy-efficient facility

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan of up to 50 million Moroccan Dirham (equivalent of up to €4.6 million) to Maghreb Industries S.A., a leading Moroccan producer of chewing gum and confectionery. The loan will finance the construction and operation of a new facility in Casablanca powered by a 1.4 megawatt solar plant on its rooftop.

Gilles Mettetal, the EBRD Director for Agribusiness said: “Maghreb Industries is an excellent example of how strong local companies can successfully compete in international markets. The company exports half of its production to Europe, the United States and Africa. The new facility, operated by Flash Chewing Gum & Cie, will allow this success to expand in future.”

Laurent Chabrier, the EBRD Director for Morocco, said: “With this innovative project, around one-third of Maghreb Industries’ energy used in future will be solar. This is truly impressive and I hope other Moroccan companies will follow.”

The energy efficiency and renewable energy measures will be supported by the first grant in Morocco under the EBRD’s FINTECC (Finance and Technology Transfer Centre for Climate Change) programme. FINTECC helps companies put in place innovative energy, water and materials efficiency technologies and renewable energy systems, providing grants, technical assistance and advice from consultants in parallel with EBRD loans.

In addition, the EBRD is supporting the company through its Advice for Agribusiness Programme by engaging two senior industry experts to advise on issues ranging from improving corporate governance to innovative marketing.   

Hakim Marrakchi, CEO and shareholder of Maghreb Industries said: “The partnership with the EBRD has allowed us to go beyond what was initially planned when we first started the project. The EBRD’s combination of funding and technical assistance for private enterprises is unique in the Moroccan context. It will help us to build on our strong brands such as Flash and Freegum, and to launch new, innovative products that we have in the pipeline.”

The EBRD started investing in Morocco in 2012. To date, the Bank has invested more than €400 million in 20 projects across the country, in addition to €130 million of trade facilitation credit lines with local banks. The EBRD has also provided technical assistance to more than 175 local small and medium-sized enterprises.

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