Morocco’s energy minister, Abdelkader Amara, said on Tuesday that his country expects to shortlist three companies for its new long-term contracts to LNG within the next two weeks, reported Reuters.

Morocco is evaluating offers from Royal Dutch Shell as well as French, Spanish and American companies, and plans to import 2 million tonnes of LNG a year starting in 2020 as part of the first phase of its LNG import plan, he explained to reporters in Dubai.

“In the first phase it will be 2 million tonnes, and the second step will be from 3.5 to 4 million tonnes,” Amara said, adding “Yes Shell made an offer and there are also (companies) from France, from Britain, from Spain and the U.S…. in two weeks we will evaluate the offers and take a decision. It is likely we will have three suppliers”.

According to AllAfrica Amara had previously visited the US to meet with industry leaders and toured several LNG facilities as part of Morocco’s efforts to build an integrated LNG and gas-to-power plant with an import facility near the current coal-fired power station at Jorf Lasfar.

The minister described the trip as “very productive,” and it highlighted Morocco’s efforts to “enhance its commitment to green energy.”

Lahsen Amarof, head of the Ministry’s Natural Gas and Fossil Fuels Division, noted that “The project will be tendered as one integrated project through one tender. We expect to have a consortium with many companies [undertaking the project], including CCGT specialists and companies for the LNG part.”