Morocco will receive a MAD 1.6 billion loan from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development to renovate the Rabat Ville and Rabat Agdal train stations in order to make the transit centers compatible with the kingdom’s new high-speed trains.
ONCF, which is the national railroad regulator, the Ministry of the Economy and the Arab development fund signed contracts confirming the loan on Thursday. The capital comes with a 2.5 percent interest rate over 25 years, Medias24 reported.
“This loan is a new kind of assistance that the fund has offered the kingdom, especially relating to the high-speed train project,” said Abdul-Latif Youssef Alhamd, the director of the AFESD. “This cooperation will increase in the future for other projects in various fields.”
The fund’s current budget allocates 1.5 billion Kuwaiti dinars to finance development initiatives in Morocco. In 2012, the AFESD contributed MAD 864 million to construct the Tangier-Casablanca high-speed line.
The Islamic Development Bank signed an agreement last week worth MAD 980 million with the Ministry of the Economy and ONCF to fund the renovation of the Casa Voyageurs, Kenitra and Tangier train stations in order to prepare for the new LGV trains.
IsDB Regional Director in Rabat, Sidi Mohamed Taleb, said his fund is seeking to enrich its cooperation with the Kingdom, “especially in the new context in which the Kingdom is advancing solidly in its South-South cooperation with the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.”
Once the Tangier-Casablanca line is fully complete, passengers will be able to travel between the two business centers in two hours and ten minutes – less than half of the four hours and 45 minute commute that is currently the norm.