Friday, November 12, 2010

EIB grants Morocco €420 milion for ports and highways

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Morocco have signed two loans worth a total of €420 million, aimed at major highway and port infrastructures key to the country’s economic and social development.

An EIB press release said the first loan saw €220 million earmarked for a 172km stretch of motorway from Casablanca to the south-eastern region of Tadla-Azilal, while the second provides €200 million for the extension of the Tangier Med port.

The deals were signed by EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive, who is in charge of FEMIP – the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership – during his two-day visit to Morocco on 10-11 November.

“The loans extended today for the Tangier Med port complex and the motorway network testify to the EIB’s commitment to stand by the side of the Kingdom in its infrastructure modernisation policy,” said Philippe de Fontaine Vive. “These investments will strengthen the attractiveness of Morocco and favour its economic development. At the same time, I am particularly glad of their direct impact in improving the daily lives of the local communities concerned.”

Development of the Moroccan motorway network

The new stretch of motorway, which should be operational in June 2013, responds to a twin objective:

* To bring closer – in safe and environmentally sensitive conditions – the administrative heartland of the country of Rabat-Casablanca, in order to accelerate the development of the Tadla plain, the High Atlas mountains (Azilal) and the Middle Atlas (Khenifra).
* To promote several sectors essential to the economic development of the country, such as agriculture, agro-industry and tourism. The region being served enjoys substantial natural wealth, with the largest phosphate deposits in the country (Khouribga), a first class agricultural area (Beni Mellal) and the landscapes of the Atlas.

Extension of Tangier Med port

By developing an integrated logistic and industrial complex, just 35km from Tangiers, Morocco aims to offer investors an efficient and modern gateway.

The Tangier Med I project, to which the EIB already contributed €40 million in financing, offers a handling capacity of 3 million TEU (Twenty Feet Equivalent Unit). Tangier Med II will increase this capacity to 8 million TEU through the construction of two new container terminals. The new port will create 5,000 new jobs, with another 20,000 jobs indirectly created.

See our earlier stories on the Tangier Med developments HERE

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