PROJECTS: Moroccan consortium beats foreign bidders for port deal

Project is among seven new ports planned

  
A general view of Tanger-Med container port in Ksar Sghir near the coastal city of Tangier, Morocco, June 26, 2019. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A general view of Tanger-Med container port in Ksar Sghir near the coastal city of Tangier, Morocco, June 26, 2019. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Reuters/Youssef Boudlal

A consortium of two Moroccan construction firms has ousted three foreign alliances bidding for a large port project on the Atlantic coast exceeding$1 billion of investments, according to press reports. 

Morocco’s Transport Ministry said that it had selected a consortium comprising SGTM (Societé Générale des Travaux du Maroc), a key contracting firm in Morocco, and the Casablanca-based Somagec construction firm for the project to build a port in Dakhla, a city of more than 100,000 people in the disputed Western Sahara. 

The London-based Al-Arab newspaper, the Moroccan Rue20 website and other publications said the project would cost around 10 billion Moroccan dirhams ($1.05 billion) and that it is part of plans to build seven new ports in the North African Arab country. 

“It is part of a 7-port plan within the country’s development strategy until 2030…the government has allocated nearly 77 billion dirhams ($8.1 billion) for the plan that aims to expand Morocco’s shipping and commercial activity,” the Transport Ministry said in a statement carried recently by the Moroccan Hespress Arabic language newspaper. 

The report said the other bidders include the Greek-owned Archirodon Group, French contractor Eiffage and Egypt’s Arab Contractors

Rue24 website quoted a Ministry spokesman as saying the new port is “vital for Morocco’s plans to develop its economy” and that it is expected to attract massive investments in the future given its strategic location. 

It said the project is located nearly 70 km north of Dakhla city in Sahara and is “in the framework of a comprehensive development programme in that region” announced by King Mohammed VI of Morocco in 2015. 

It involves the construction of a fishing port with a capacity of handling nearly one million tonnes of seafood a year, and a container terminal with a capacity of 2.2 million tonnes of commercial cargo. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)

(anoop.menon@refinitiv.com

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