Morocco gets €80M from AFD, closing required funding for Tangiers-Casablanca high-speed train project
(Ecofin Agency) - The French Development Agency (AFD) has provided a €80 million loan to the Moroccan national railway office (ONCF) to finance the last tranche of its Tangiers-Casablanca High-speed train Line project.
Present at the signing of the loan agreement in Rabat was the Moroccan ministry of economy and finance, Mohamed Boussaid, who declared that “with this funding, AFD has injected more than €300 million in the project, while France has provided more than 50% of the funds needed in its framework”.
Also present at the signing was the French minister of Europe and foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian. The latter said for his part that the project “results from a partnership based on the trust between Morocco and France and on funding provided by various French actors, amounting to 50% of required investment”.
It should be emphasized that AFD’s new facility will help complete the project which was initially estimated to cost 20 billion dirham (about €1.8 billion) but finally, according to ONCF’ authorities, “cost slightly more”.
The high-speed train line project falls in line, according to Moroccan authorities, with a strategy that aims to establish regional growth hubs, by putting in place a rapid and modern link between the two major hubs that are Casablanca and Tangiers.
Designed to travel at a maximum speed of 350km/h and running at a commercial speed of 320 km/h, the high speed train line can transport six million passengers per year, at a filled capacity of 70% per train, with each train having a capacity of 532-1064 seats.
According to the managing director of the ONCF, Mohamed Rabie Khlie, all works for the project, including signaling systems, will be completed before the end of this year. In the first four months of 2018, the train line will be tested in preparation of its homologation.