SIGNING OF ODA LOAN AGREEMENT FOR MOROCCO - In Support of National Railway and Water Supply Service -
1. Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; Governor: Hiroshi Yasuda) decided to extend loans totaling up to 11.359 billion yen for the two projects in the Kingdom of Morocco and signed loan agreements today at its head office. The two projects are: Meknes-Fes Track Doubling Project, to be undertaken by Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF), and Agadir Water Supply Project, to be undertaken by Office National de l' Eau Potable(ONEP). With these loans, the cumulative ODA loan commitments of JBIC to Morocco numbered 18, totaling 130.803 billion yen.
2. Meknes-Fes Track Doubling Project is a part of the 320 kilometer track doubling project between Casablanca and Fes, which covers the final 57 kilometer segment between the cities of Meknes and Fes. The loan extended to the Meknes-Fes Track Doubling Project will provide financial support for procurement of materials, equipment and services for doubling a single-track line, installing double-track lines and improving the rectification of existing tracks. The loan extended to the Agadir Water Supply Project is designed to finance procurement of materials, equipment, services, and consulting services necessary for constructing water supply facilities, which include water treatment plants and pumping stations.
3. The area between Casablanca and Fes is the country's axis of economic development. Since 1975, doubling the track of this 320-kilometer rail link has proceeded step by step to strengthen its transport capacity. This project addresses the final segment of the overall project. At present, transport capacity of this single track route has reached satiation, and doubling of the track of this whole route is designated as one of the main projects in the railway sector in the country' s 5-year Development Plan. The objective of this project is to double the track, strengthen the transport capacity, speed up trains, cut transport time and improve safety and punctual operation. It is expected that completion of doubling of the track between Casablanca and Fez by this project will contribute to economic development of the area along the track. This is cofinanced with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Government of France.
4. On the other hand, economic growth has brought rapid urbanization in Morocco where medium-sized or large cities are facing with an urgent need of increasing water supply capacity. Agadir, one of the major cities in the southwest region has experienced a sharp increase of water demand due to the growing tourism industry. It is anticipated that water supply capacity will fall short of demand by 2004. The objective of the Agadir Water Supply Project is to ensure supply of safe water for the residents of 8 districts around the city of Agadir up to 2018 through newly installed water supply system. This project is expected to contribute to sustainable development of the city which is a Mecca of tourism and fishing ports of Morocco and to improve its living environment.