Morocco: €85 million finance contract signed to accelerate the digitalisation of motorway infrastructure
3 March 2021
The EIB and Société Nationale des Autoroutes du Maroc have announced the signature of an €85 million finance contract (approximately MAD 925 million) to accelerate the digital transformation of motorway infrastructure.
This funding will help improve the flow of traffic and the safety of road users through electronic tolls and digital payments.
A new real-time traffic monitoring and management system will optimise traffic conditions on the 1 800 km motorway network.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Société Nationale des Autoroutes du Maroc (ADM), which is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of Morocco’s motorways, have announced the signature of an €85 million finance contract (approximately MAD 925 million) to accelerate the digitalisation of motorway infrastructure in the country. This project will help improve the flow of traffic through the digitalisation of payment systems and the installation of electronic toll systems. It will help reduce travel times and costs and enhance the safety of road users while providing new customised services. This operation also includes the deployment of a traffic monitoring and management system that will provide real-time access to traffic information across the motorway network.
With this funding, ADM will be able to accelerate its digital transformation and prepare for the economic recovery against a steady increase in the number of vehicles on the road. The modernisation and extension of the existing electronic toll system will optimise the collection of toll charges, partially offsetting the loss of liquidity caused by the health crisis and reducing toll evasion. In addition, this operation will have a positive environmental impact as it will help to reduce the pollution generated by vehicles stopping at toll booths.
As a long-standing partner of the EIB in Morocco, ADM manages the second-largest motorway network in Africa covering nearly 1 800 km. This EIB funding will support the implementation of a strategic investment programme for the digitalisation of ADM’s operations to promote the increased mobility of people, goods and services in the country. It will have a direct impact on ADM’s operational efficiency, both in terms of toll collection and the environmental footprint of toll booths. In total, more than 6 000 jobs are expected to be created during the project implementation phase.
This EIB backing is part of the Bank’s COVID-19 response and Team Europe’s support for the transport sector, one of the most affected by the health crisis. As a result of the emergency operational measure taken in April 2020, the loan amount will exceptionally cover up to 83.6% of the total project cost, in derogation of the standard 50% limit laid down in the EIB Statute. This financing is also part of the European Union’s external lending mandate for 2021 to 2027.
Claudia Wiedey, EU Ambassador to Morocco, said: “I am delighted to see the signature of this project between Société Nationale des Autoroutes du Maroc and the European Investment Bank. The green transition should be our roadmap for the post-COVID-19 recovery, and the digitalisation of motorways addresses one aspect of this transition. Digitalisation, clean transport and innovation should be at the heart of socioeconomic recovery efforts, opening up new opportunities to create resilient post-pandemic societies in Morocco and in the European Union.”
EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix said: “I am very pleased to announce this new financing operation with Société Nationale des Autoroutes du Maroc, a strong partner with which we have worked for more than 25 years. As a major programme to modernise and strengthen the country’s 1 800 km motorway network, this project is strategically important for Morocco and its people.It will improve the quality of motorway infrastructure and enhance the safety of road users. In addition, it is fully in line with Morocco’s national priorities in digital affairs and will contribute to economic development and job creation.”
ADM Managing Director Anouar Benazzouz said: “The EIB is a leading partner that has backed us on several investment projects. It therefore comes as no surprise that it has also chosen to support us in such a strategic area as digitalisation in order to improve motorway safety and ensure the smooth flow of traffic – it is a source of great pride.”
Autoroutes du Maroc (ADM)
Société Nationale des Autoroutes du Maroc (ADM) is Morocco’s state road operator responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the country’s motorways. Since its creation in 1989, ADM has built a motorway network stretching 1 800 km, making it the second-largest in Africa after South Africa.
In 2016, ADM began implementing a global transformation strategy based on two priorities: customer satisfaction and financial performance. The objective is to modernise its operations and transform ADM into a successful company at the cutting edge of technology, improving its financial indicators and fundamentals to ensure its viability and enable it to turn a profit.
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