Abu Dhabi Fund for Development in $40m agreement for high-speed route between Tangier and Kenitra
An Abu Dhabi-based fund has signed off a loan worth AED147 million ($40m) to finance the construction of a high-speed rail link between the cities of Tangier and Kenitra in Morocco.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) signed the concessionary loan agreement with the Office Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Maroc (ONCFM), Morocco’s national railway operator, the UAE state news agency WAM reported.
It complements ADFD’s first instalment of AED368 million released in 2010 for the rehabilitation of the track’s infrastructure and foundation systems.
The second loan will be used to finance the launch of a 200km-long, 320-km/hr high-speed train link that connects the two cities, set for completion by 2018.
The agreement was signed in Morocco by Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, and Mohamed Rabie Khlie, CEO of ONCFM, in the presence of Mohamed Boussaid, the Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance.
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.”
“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.”
ADFD, established on July 15, 1971, is an autonomous national entity affiliated with Abu Dhabi government.
It has successfully 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 AED 515 million; bringing ADFD’s current sum expenditure in Morocco to AED 8.8 billion.