Renault Tangier plant: successfully meeting the “zero carbon emission” challenge

Since it came into operation in 2012, the Renault plant in Tangier (Morocco) has become a global benchmark in terms of environmental excellence. The energy supply system required to produce vehicles has been redesigned to significantly reduce carbon emissions. A step that, five years later, is proving effective.

It is when the cars move from the bodywork to the paint workshop that we really see the effectiveness of the energy solutions jointly put forward by Renault and Veolia. The paint department, with its booths and bake ovens, is the most energy-intensive in the plant: it singlehandedly represents 70% of the site’s thermal energy consumption. For this reason, Veolia first of all carefully scrutinized all of the workshop’s energy consumption stations. Consequently, after incorporating several changes into the processes, the paint booths now consume 35% less energy than those in an equivalent production plant.


In addition to “zero carbon and zero emissions,” “zero discharge” completes the site’s environmental performance.

The process developed in the workshop requires a hot water system to be maintained at a constant temperature, along with the production of water at 120°C under high pressure, required for heating the paint ovens. To reduce the plant’s environmental footprint, Veolia and Renault opted for energy production using olive cake, a renewable energy source with a neutral CO2 balance. In total, through the energy efficiency measures put in place and the use of biomass, Renault avoids emitting 135,000 metric tons of CO2 annually.

We are demonstrating that the ‘zero emissions, zero carbon’ concept is possible. With the industrial facilities we have in Tangier, we are at practically 96-97% carbon-free energy,” states Marc Nassif, CEO of the Renault group in Morocco.

A relationship of trust

The implementation of this industrial model of environmental excellence was born of a political will. In 2007, the King of Morocco Mohammed VI and Renault-Nissan’s Chair and CEO Carlos Ghosn signed an agreement concerning the construction of a high-performance plant. Renault and Veolia then formed a long-term industrial partnership.

The project was a success due to successful outsourcing, based on a relationship of trust. This relationship demands availability and the integration of cross-sector technical and managerial skills on behalf of our industrial clients,” highlights Jean-François Gal, the plant’s director.

Production and environmental preservation are compatible

Since it opened in February 2012, the plant has significantly increased its capacity (see the boxed text below). According to Marc Nassif, “production in 2016 was 274,000 vehicles, i.e. 50,000 vehicles more than in 2015.” On May 5, 2015, Renault celebrated the 400,000th vehicle leaving the floor of the Tangier plant, which exports to over 63 destinations worldwide. Thanks to this facility, the automobile sector has become the kingdom’s leading exporter. Proof that increasing production is compatible with controlling environmental impact. “You should bear in mind that 60% of the energy used on the site comes from wind power and 40% from biomass based on olive cake (read the interview),” states Marc Nassif.

In addition to “zero carbon and zero emissions,” “zero discharge” completes the site’s environmental performance. The recycling rate for the plant’s waste, such as steel scraps, is 98%. Renault-Nissan and Veolia have also designed an innovative system for recycling water in a closed loop — “zero industrial liquid discharge” — ¬which halves the water consumption per vehicle produced, resulting in savings of 1,200 to 1,500 m3 per day.

The Tangier Melloussa Renault plant in figures

  • Start-up of activity: February 2012
  • Surface area of the site: 740 acres
  • Located 30 km from the international port of Tanger-Med
  • Workforce of 7,000
  • 33 Veolia staff members

Annual vehicle production

  • 2012 : 48,870
  • 2013 : 100,940
  • 2014 : 174,245
  • 2015 : 224,000
  • 2016 : 274,000


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