About seven of the 32 international companies to have purchased tender documents will be shortlisted for construction of the $1,000 million Tangier-Mediterranean container port, a source at the Equipment Ministry confirmed on 16 September. The tender was launched earlier in September and the closing date for bids is 4 October. The shortlisted bidders will be named 10 days later (MEED 16:8:02).
The port complex will be located at Dalia on the northernmost tip of Morocco only 15 kilometres from Europe. The project will include a number of free zones and road and rail links as well as the construction of one of the largest deep-water ports in the Mediterranean. The port is expected to cost around MD 4,260 million ($399 million) to build and related infrastructure will cost a further MD 4,420 million ($414 million). The free zones will cost some MD 2,290 million ($214 million) to set up.
The source of at least half of the project's financing has already been identified. The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development on 12 September signed an agreement to contribute $300 million towards the project, and King Mohammed VI of Morocco has already called for the local Hassan II fund to provide $200 million. The king also requested that the government budgeted for the auxiliary facilities, including the transport infrastructure, in the 2003-06 national finance bills.
The Tangier-Mediterranean Special Agency has been established to manage the project. It will assume responsibility for designing studies and awarding contracts as well as advising the government on the financing of the port complex.
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