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Moroccan Port Becomes Largest in Mediterranean With Tanger Med II Extension 

With the new terminal, Morocco’s port in Tangier - the largest in Africa - becomes the largest in the Mediterranean in terms of container capacity.

Rabat – Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan inaugurated on Friday, June 28,  the Tanger Med 2, an extension project that will allow Morocco’s Tangier port to surpass some of the key international ports in terms of container capacity in the Mediterranean.

The Crown Prince represented King Mohammed VI during the inauguration ceremony.

The port will be operational following nine years of construction work, which started in May 2010.

Worth  $1.3 billion, the construction of the project was planned in two phases. 

Morocco launched the first phase of the project in 2010. This first phase was to establish the port’s infrastructure and was completed in 2016. While the second was to develop the port’s new docks over 1,600 linear meters

The expanded six million container capacity calculated in a twenty-foot equivalent unit to make it home for more container terminals will further extend the port.

The port is expected to surpass the Mediterranean’s largest ports of Algeciras and Valencia in terms of container capacity.

In just a decade, the northern city of Tangier has positioned itself as the gate of both Europe and Africa thanks to the Tanger Med Port, which was deemed a key industrial zone thanks to Morocco’s geographical position.

Located on the Strait of Gibraltar, Tanger med is connected to more than 170 ports in 77 countries across the world, providing a processing capacity of 9 million containers, as well as 7 million passengers, 1 million vehicles, and 700,000 trucks.

Tangier is the home of many giant firms, specialized in different fields, including the automotive sector, one of Morocco’s key pillars.

Tang Med serves as an industrial hub for more than 750 companies from different sectors, including logistics, trade, and textile. It also represents a business volume of €5,5 million.

Tangier med port impacts on automotive sector

The firms’ choice to operate their plants in Tangier is no coincidence as they look forward to benefiting from the newly expanded Tangier Med port, which is a key source of trade.

Created in 2011, Tanger Automotive City (TAC) serves as a free zone, focusing primarily on attracting international companies involved in manufacturing vehicle Pieces, logistics, and tertiary activities.

The automotive city lay in an area of 300 hectares, offering direct access to Tanger med Port in 22 kilometers, as well as Tanger Free Zone.

The automotive city provides “truck deliveries to Europe in less than 48 hours,” which makes it an easy choice for international automotive firms.

“The TAC site is also linked to the development of Renault Tanger Med (less than 2 kilometers) and situated close to road which connects it to the urban centers of Tangier (14 km) and other cities in the country,” according to TAC.

Read Also: Tanger Med Port’s Container Traffic Up 7% in First Half of 2018, Passenger Traffic Drops 13%

Tangier med port contributes to Morocco’s aeronautics growth

In addition to the automotive sector, aeronautics is a significant player as Morocco’s Ministry of Industry predicts that the sector will have an intrinsic role in Morocco’s economy.

The sector is active with more than 120 companies, generating direct annual reviews of more than $1 billion in 2015. With the expansion, Tanger Med aims to promote even faster economic growth in the sector over the next few years.

The industry creates more than 11,000 direct job opportunities contributing with “8.5 % to Morocco’s total employment and is forecasted to achieve approximately 33,000 by 2020.”

“The Moroccan aeronautics sector of activity starts to take huge steps forward in terms of export intensity and trade diversity, valuing and expanding trade flow with Europe, Asia, and North  & South America,” Tanger Med said on its Investment Memorandum 2018.

Tangier Med Port’s forecast was backed by several international reports, which acknowledged the notable performance by both the automotive and aeronautics sectors. 

An Oxford report said in March 2019 that Morocco’s plans to promote economic development through investment “has witnessed success, in particular in the automotive and aeronautics sectors.”  The sectors are part of the Industrial Acceleration Plan 2014-2020.

The aeronautics sector has human resources of more than 11,000 employees.

Attractive performance

The extension of the project will certainly give added value, but the port is already attracting local and international key investors with its performance.

In 2018, Morocco’s Tangier Med port exported MAD 139 billion work of products, representing 50% of all Moroccan exports.

In the same year, the port processed an overall tonnage of 52,240,806 tons, an increase of 2 % compared to 2017.

The largest in Africa, the port surpassed South Africa’s Durban port, handling a total volume of imports and exports worth MAD 317 billion in 2018.