WSRW has received images of equipment strapped into the hold of a ship that is en route from Bilbao to occupied Western Sahara.
Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) has received images of the equipment that was loaded into the hold of the cargo vessel Johannes, just prior to its departure from Bilbao, Spain, 21 July. The cargo is now on its way to Western Sahara where it will be erected as part of a large windmill project under a contract with the territory's occupying power, Morocco.
The pictures show that at least two ‘floors’ in the hold are filled with around 20 large pieces, each the size of a car. The equipment consists of different key elements for the windmills. Johannes arrived to Bilbao on 18 July to load the cargo.
From what WSRW understands, the vessel is now on its way to Tangiers in Morocco to load blades at the local Siemens Gamesa blade factory, before it is set to continue to El Aaiún in the occupied territory.
This is the third trip that Johannes is undertaking with components for the Siemens Energy/Enel wind farm over the course of the last month. In June/July 2021, the same vessel already undertook two transports carrying masts from Motril to El Aaiún.
The controversial shipment coincides with two or three other related incidents, all onboard the same Dutch-flagged fleet of the German shipping company Briese Schiffahrts:
In total, WSRW has now documented six shipments of windmill components arriving in the occupied territory since the end of June 2021.
In September 2020, Siemens Gamesa announced it had received a massive new order covering the "supply, transport, installation, commissioning and testing of 87 units of the SG 3.4-132 wind turbine and a 5-year service agreement" for what the company refers to as "the Boujdour wind farm, located in the South of Morocco".
Morocco has illegally occupied the larger part of Western Sahara since 1975, and installs energy infrastructure in the territory, in violation of international law.
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