ADFD to finance $40m Moroccan rail projectby Jochebed Menon on Nov 20, 2016
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has loaned Morocco’s national rail operator $40m to build a high-speed train.
ADFD signed a concessionary loan agreement with the Office Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Maroc (ONCFM) to finance the construction of a high-speed train to reduce the distance between the cities of Tangier and Kenitra, according to state news agency, WAM.
Adding to ADFD’s first instalment of $100mn (AED368mn) released in 2010 for the rehabilitation of the track’s infrastructure and foundation systems, this second instalment will be used to finance the launch of a 200km long, 320km per hour high-speed train that connects both hubs by 2018.
The agreement was signed in Morocco by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), and Mohamed Rabie Khlie, CEO of ONCFM.
Al Suwaidi said: "Our devotion is steadfast, our support is unwavering and we will continue to meticulously fund and invest in socio-economic development projects to alleviate living standards across the board."
He added: "The fund and the Kingdom of Morocco have enjoyed a unique and historic partnership dating back to 1976.
"This latest collaboration will ensure ease of movement for travellers, cargo and produce. It will dramatically decrease the duration of the trip between these two important cities from five hours to two hours."
Mohamed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance for Morocco commended the UAE’s dedication towards the sustained progress of emerging nations.
Till date, ADFD has funded 71 development projects in Morocco, 12 of which targeted the transportation sector.
The entirety of the Tangier-Kenitra high-speed train project amounts to $140mn; bringing ADFD’s current sum expenditure in Morocco to $2.4bn (AED8.8bn).
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