“Thanks to the finance granted today for the Port of Tangier Med and the motorway network, the EIB has again shown its commitment to supporting the Kingdom’s infrastructure modernisation policy. These investments will enhance the attractiveness of Morocco and foster its economic development. I am delighted too that they will have a direct impact on improving the day-to-day living conditions of the people concerned.”
Philippe de Fontaine Vive
Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB)
The visit to Morocco of Philippe de Fontaine Vive, EIB Vice-President with responsibility for FEMIP (Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership), includes on 10 November 2010 the signature of two important new loans totalling EUR 420m (MAD 4.8bn) in support of motorway and port infrastructure projects, which will contribute to the economic and social development of Morocco.
On 10 November 2010 in Rabat, Mr Philippe de Fontaine Vive, EIB Vice-President with responsibility for FEMIP, signed a EUR 200m loan agreement for the extension of the Port of Tangier Med with Mr Toufiq Ibrahimi, Managing Director of Tanger Med S.A., and a EUR 220m loan agreement for the construction of a 172 km section of motorway between Casablanca and the region of Tadla-Azilal in the south-east of the country, with Mr Otman Fassi Fihri, Managing Director of Autoroutes du Maroc (ADM), in the presence of Mr Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of the Economy and Finance, and Mr Karim Ghellab, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure.
At the signing ceremony for these two contracts, the Moroccan authorities and the EIB Vice-President welcomed the level and quality of cooperation between Morocco and the EIB and reasserted their mutual resolve to step up this cooperation.
High quality infrastructure furthering economic expansion
1. Development of the motorway network in Morocco
The planned construction of a 172 km section of motorway between Casablanca and the region of Tadla-Azilal in the south-east of the country meets a dual objective:
- To connect, in accordance with user safety and environmental requirements, this region with the country’s administrative and economic heart of Rabat and Casablanca in order to accelerate the development of the regions served, in particular the Tadla plain, the High Atlas mountains (Azilal) and beyond that, the Middle Atlas (Khénifra).
- To promote a number of business sectors (agriculture, agribusiness and tourism) that are key to the economic development of the Kingdom. The region that will be served has many natural resources, e.g. the country’s largest phosphate deposit in Khouribga, the prime agricultural area of Béni Mellal and the Atlas countryside.
This motorway is scheduled to open to traffic in June 2013.
As stated by Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive, this loan signature represents a continuation of the EIB’s policy of supporting transport as one of the keys to sustainable economic development in the Mediterranean region. Transport accounts for more than 20% of EIB activity in the Mediterranean and, in less than 15 years, over EUR 1bn has been made available to ADM to enable it to carry out its remit, i.e. provide Morocco with a dense, high quality road network, which is a key condition for balanced economic growth throughout the Kingdom.
2. Expansion and modernisation of the Port of Tangier Med via Tangier Med II
The Kingdom of Morocco established the “Tangier Mediterranean” special economic zone 35 km from the city of Tangier to offer potential investors a modern, state-of-the-art facility.
The Tangier Med I project to which the EIB contributed EUR 40m to acquire handling equipment provided the port with a container storage capacity of 3 million TEU. The Tangier Med II project will increase this storage capacity to 8 million TEU thanks, in particular, to the construction of two new container terminals (TC3 and TC4) and some 30 buildings. During its implementation phase, this site will create 33 000 direct jobs.
The EIB will lend considerable financial support to the Tangier Med II project via a long-term loan of EUR 200m. The project will also benefit from the EIB’s expertise for the duration of the implementation phase so as to minimise the environmental impact of the new industrial infrastructure.
It should be pointed out that in the first half of 2010, Tangier Med’s port activity experienced an increase in traffic of around 76% compared to the same period in 2009. The modern, state-of-the-art environment in Tangier Med has already attracted the automobile manufacturer Renault to the site to add a production facility to its existing research and production units in Europe. That project is also being partly financed by the EIB.
Note to editors:
FEMIP is the key player in the financial partnership between Europe and the Mediterranean, providing more than EUR 10bn of financing between October 2002 and December 2009.
FEMIP brings together the whole range of services provided by the European Investment Bank in the Mediterranean partner countries. Operational since October 2002, it is now the key player in the economic and financial partnership between Europe and the Mediterranean, providing over EUR 10bn in support of projects in the nine Mediterranean partner countries.