The EIB confirms its role as the leading investor in Morocco with this new commitment of €420 million for transport and energy infrastructure. This loan follows on from the 2011 decision by the EIB’s Board of Directors to step up the Bank’s support for the Kingdom of Morocco by approving more than €700 million in new finance − a record amount that will support the country in its economic transition by financing projects that stimulate growth and create jobs, especially for young people.

The aggregate commitment of €420 million – i.e. MAD 4 620 million – for transport and energy infrastructure was signed on Friday 14 December 2012 in Rabat in the presence of EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive, Morocco’s Economy and Finance Minister, Nizar Baraka, Morocco’s Energy, Mining, Water and Environment Minister, Fouad Douiri, and Morocco’s Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Abdelaziz Rabbah.

This new €420 million loan will be focused on two key sectors in terms of growth, employment and social cohesion: extension of the road network and security of energy supply.

  • Construction of a new motorway between El Jadida and Safi – €240 million loan

Motorway infrastructure is essential to the process of economic transition in Morocco. Accordingly, the EIB has decided to provide a €240 million loan towards financing the new motorway between El Jadida and Safi. This is the biggest EIB loan granted to date to Autoroutes du Maroc (ADM), the project promoter.

This new 142 km motorway constitutes a key link in Morocco’s motorway network. By connecting the Doukkalah-Abda region to other neighbouring regions, it will provide a better logistical service to the industrial platforms of the ports of Safi and El Jadida while at the same time improving the accessibility of the cities of Essaouira and Agadir. The new motorway section will thus enable drivers to cut current journey times by 50% and substantially improve their personal safety.

This loan confirms the EIB’s commitment to upgrading transport infrastructure: since 2002, almost €3 billion has been invested in road, maritime and rail transport projects in the Mediterranean. In concrete terms, since 2002 the EIB has provided over €1 billion worth of financing for 9 649 km of new motorways and rural roads in Morocco.

  • Extension of electricity grid for increased access – €180 million loan

After financing phases 1 and 2 of the programme to extend electricity infrastructure in Morocco, the EIB has decided to commit €180 million for phase 3 of the programme covering the period 2012-2015.  The aim of this new project is to meet the fast-growing demand for electricity in the Kingdom, improve system reliability and reduce losses. This will help to ensure the availability and accessibility of the cheapest energy possible and reduce Morocco’s energy dependence through the diversification of energy sources and the promotion of energy efficiency. These objectives will be achieved by the integration into the grid of new generating units − including renewable energy −, the erection and upgrade of some 1 300 km of overhead power lines and the installation of 6 400 MVA (megavolt ampere) of transformation capacity and 150 substation bays.

This loan is fully compatible with the EIB’s priority area of supporting secure, sustainable energy in the Mediterranean. It is worth noting that since 2002 the EIB has provided €840 million in Morocco for energy development and climate action.

At the signing ceremony EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive remarked: “It is a great pleasure to be with you here today at this signing ceremony. The aim of these loans is to develop modern, sustainable, profitable infrastructure in key growth sectors such as transport and energy. I am particularly pleased as the signing of these loans culminates an exceptional year of partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco, involving total EIB investment of nearly €1 billion or more than MAD 11 billion. What better way to illustrate a deliberately dynamic and ambitious partnership for the benefit of the population of Morocco, in particular its young people.”

With 2012 marking 10 years of the EIB’s activity in the Mediterranean, the signing of this loan underscores the 35-year quality partnership between the EIB and Morocco, which has given rise to €4.7 billion worth of financing in key sectors such as energy, transport and telecommunications, water, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), urban infrastructure and industry.