Morocco's National Railway Office has promised to invest 16 billion dirhams ($1.56 billion) as part of the implementation of its "development plan."

The office announced in a statement the launch of a tender for the acquisition of 168 trains, including 150 for urban transport services, covering high-speed commuter trains and intercity trains.

"In addition, 18 trains are designated for high-speed rail line extensions," SNRTNews cited the ONCF statement.

According to ONCF, the goal is to address the growing demand for train travel and modernize part of the current aging train fleet.

ONCF's promises, according to the statement, require a total investment of 16 billion dirhams, and the railway operator sees it as a "real opportunity to establish a Moroccan railway industry system" that could have "significant economic and social impacts." .

For the railway authority, this includes the creation of “job opportunities” to strengthen Morocco's industrial sector.

ONCF's announcement is part of a series of press releases that the railway operator made public to highlight its commitment to promoting Morocco's railway industry.

Last year, in September, the office announced the same project with the aim of identifying possible interested parties.

The initiative, according to SNRTNews, resulted in 10 expressions of interest from international players in the rail industry.

Now, the office is moving forward with the project by launching the bidding process, which focuses on three main components, including the procurement of trains with a four-year delivery schedule and the establishment of a joint venture to provide ongoing maintenance services .

In November 2022, ONCF signed a 2.1 billion dirham ($200 million) loan agreement with the European Investment Bank. The deal represented 80% of a total €250 million loan the bank offered to ONCF.

“The remaining €50 million (Dh527 million) is planned to be signed in 2023,” the bank said in its previous statement, emphasizing that the project is part of the Green Partnership with Morocco.

The bank explained that the loan will help finance projects of the country's program for the rehabilitation and improvement of its railway network, including infrastructure, equipment and industrial workshops.

Article source: moroccoworldnews