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Friday, April 12, 2024

Railway Infrastructure: EIB, ONCF Sign €200 Mln Financing Contract

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF) announced on Wednesday the signing of a €200 million (2.1 billion dirhams) financing contract, which represents 80% of a global sum of €250 million made available to ONCF to support its investment plan.

The remaining 50 million euros (527 million dirhams) are scheduled for signature in 2023, said a statement by the EIB, noting that this is the first project signed under the Green Partnership with the Kingdom, concluded on October 18, 2022 in Rabat, which also represents the first partnership signed under the external dimension of the European Green Deal.

This funding is a concrete expression on the ground of the policy guidelines of the New Agenda for the Mediterranean of the EU and the initiative “Team Europe”, said the statement.

This new funding supports ONCF’s investment plan, which aims to renew the existing conventional rail infrastructure and to strengthen the modernization of facilities with state-of-the-art technologies throughout the 2300 km of the Moroccan rail network. It will contribute to the development of sustainable, low-carbon mobility, while promoting a better territorial balance in terms of access to rail services.

In particular, the loan will finance projects under the national program to rehabilitate and upgrade Morocco’s rail network, such as infrastructure, equipment and industrial workshops. It will contribute to the renewal and rehabilitation of tracks, engineering structures and electrical traction installations, as well as to the improvement of the rail network’s signaling, telecommunications and safety systems.

Climate change adaptation measures are also planned, such as the implementation of flood protection programs on the network, the statement added, specifying that throughout the duration of the project, the EIB will back ONCF to consolidate its climate adaptation roadmap.

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