The three bidders are Turkey’s Dogus, a group of seven French and local companies led by Deschironof France and a local/Egyptian grouping of El-Hajji, Arab Contractors (Osman Ahmed Osman & Company)and Houar. Eight groups were prequalified for the contract, which calls for the construction of a 31-kilometre stretch of highway from Tnine Chtouka to El-Jadida. It will include major works for the crossing of the Oued Oum Er Rbia.

Members of the El-Hajji-led group are already working on the first section of the motorway, which covers the Casablanca-Had Soualem section. The stretch is scheduled for completion later this year. The second phase, a 35-kilometre section between Tnine Chtouka-Had Soualam, will be built by Kuwait’s Burhan International Contracting Company. The project involves upgrading the road to a dual-carriageway and building 15 structures comprising bridges, underpasses, intersections and culverts (MEED 10:1:03).

The upgrade of the 80-kilometre motorway is expected to ease congestion between the commercial capital Casablanca and the rapidly expanding industrial city of El-Jadida. The estimated $190 million work is being financed by loans from the Kuwait-based Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development, the Kuwait fund for Arab Economic Development and the European Investment Bank. SNAM will also contribute to the funding.