BIDS FOR MOROCCAN HIGH-SPEED LINE

Moroccan railway operator Office National des Chemins de Fer (OCF) is expected to invite bids for civil works at the end of 2011 for Phase 1 of the $US2.5 billion Tangiers-Casablanca high-speed railway. The 200km line will run along the country’s Atlantic coast between the cities of Tangiers and Kenitra. The civil works will involve ground reinforcing.

Phase 1 is to be divided into a number of packages including civil works, bridges and rolling stock, to allow local companies to participate. Scheduled to be in operation by December 2015, the new line will be used by trains running at 320km/h.

France’s Egis Rail won the contract covering the design and construction management for civil engineering on the northern section between Kenitra and Tangiers, and France’s Systra is to manage civil works on the southern portion.

Tenders for construction contracts will only be issued once the detailed design is complete. The second phase II will involve building a high-speed track from Kenitra to Casablanca – a further 130km along the coast.

Saudi Arabia has given Rabat $US200 million to help fund the project. The government is already providing $585 million for the project with a further $122 million coming from the Hassan II Fund for Economic & Social Development, $231 million from France and other European donors and $1.5 billion worth of loans.

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