Morocco will likely award a project to build a high-speed train linking two of its key cities to a Chinese company following a political crisis with France, according to a newspaper in the North African Arab nation.

France had hoped to grab the contract to build the rail line between the Western Atlantic port of Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, and the port of Agadir, nearly 460 km (278 miles) south of Casablanca, the Arabic language daily Hespress said.

In a report on Sunday, the paper said Paris wanted to be awarded the project given its experience in similar projects in Morocco.

“But after the eruption of the current political crisis between the two countries, the China Railway Construction Corp has emerged as the likely candidate to execute this project after it successfully completed King Mohammed Bridge, the largest in Africa,” it said.

The paper said the Chinese firm had expressed desire to undertake the train project and that it has the advantage over other companies.

“What makes the Chinese company a likely candidate is the lower cost of its work and services…other advantages are that it offers guarantees to finish the project on time without any problems and that the fact that China can guarantee funding,” it added.

Read more: Morocco to link 2 Atlantic cities in $7.58bln rail project

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)