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Morocco looking for private partners to fund $38bn rail plans

Morocco's National Office of Railways (ONCF) runs the Al-Boraq bullet train ONCF
Morocco's National Office of Railways (ONCF) runs the Al-Boraq bullet train

Morocco’s ambitious plans to connect the country through a high-speed national rail link requires “innovative financing solutions based on public-private partnerships”, says Mohamed Abdeljalil, minister of transport and logistics.

The Morocco Rail Plan, led by the National Railways Office (ONCF), is estimated to cost 400 billion dinars ($38.1 billion), according to the Moroccan News Agency.

The plan includes 1,300km of high-speed lines, which will connect Tangier to Agadir, and Oujda to Rabat, in addition to providing 3,800km of medium-speed lines.

Abdeljalil told Parliament that “the objective is to serve the entire national territory and accompany the economic growth of the country and the anticipated needs for passenger transport”.

Projects will connect 43 Moroccan cities instead of 23 currently and will also ensure the rail transport of 87 percent of the population, an increase of 36 percent. 

Ten regional hubs will also be created to organise and improve integration with other modes of transport.

Last year ONCF appointed international construction and engineering company Egis as general consultant for external control on the planned Kenitra–Marrakesh high-speed line, according to International Rail Journal.

Egis was previously in charge of the integrated programme management of track and construction depots for Morocco’s first high-speed line, dubbed Al Boraq, a 186km-long line between Tangier and Kenitra.

ONCF appointed Egis as consultant in anticipation of the workload arising from the coordination of these designs. Each package will need to take into account the functional challenges specific to their geographical parameters, but must fit in with the rest of the network.

The Ain Sebaa–Nouaceur section around the Casablanca hub will also include 60km of widening works to accommodate four lines within a restrictive urban setting.