The port is part of Morocco’s 2016-2021 development plan in the southern provinces.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Transport and Logistics Abdelkader Amara announced on Friday the completion of technical studies on the establishment of the Dakhla Atlantic Port.
Amara also announced the preselection process of the call for tenders for the construction of the port, noting that the invitation for tenders is set to open on January 28, 2021.
The Dakhla Atlantic Port will require an investment of MAD 10 billion ($1.1 billion) and is expected to become operational in fewer than six years.
The port is part of Morocco’s plans to boost development projects in its southern provinces.
On November 7, King Mohammed VI announced during his 2020 Green March anniversary speech a number of development projects in the south of Morocco.
In addition to the Dakhla Atlantic Port, Morocco’s new development model for the south includes several wind farms and other social infrastructures across Western Sahara.
The king expressed his optimism that the port will mirror the success of the Tanger Med Port in northern Morocco, the country’s largest port and Europe’s portal to Africa.
He also pledged that Western Sahara will be “an engine of development at the regional and continental levels,” with a major focus on fostering the region’s maritime potential.
“The Atlantic coast to the south of the Kingdom, bordering the Moroccan Sahara, will serve as an area for the achievement of economic complementarity as well as continental and international prominence,” the monarch said.
Echoing the royal directives in a speech on november 30, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said that Morocco’s 2016-2021 development plan in the southern provinces has reached a completion rate of 70%.
Morocco has completed 179 development projects for a total budget of MAD 13.2 billion ($1.45 billion), while 336 are ongoing and 236 are still in the planning phase.
While the Dakhla Atlantic Port appears to be the Moroccan government’s flagship infrastructure project for southern projects, Morocco’s Atlantic coasts are also known for their strong winds and have the potential to host wind power and tidal energy generators.
Following the US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara earlier this week, American startup Soluna Technologies and Morocco’s AM WIND announced their plan to build a 900 megawatt wind farm in Dakhla.
CEO of Soluna Technologies John Belizaire said that the region, “which abounds in resources and potentialities on land as at sea, will serve as a bridge and hyphen between Morocco and its African depth.”