Morocco’s Casa Transports is inviting companies to submit bids by 1 June for the first construction contract of the Casablanca tramway.

The successful bidder will be responsible for building the first 10-kilometres of track and the station platforms. Sources close to the project expect state-owned Casa Transports, which is overseeing the project, to award the construction contract in the third quarter of 2010.

Casa Transports is also preparing to invite companies to bid on three more contracts in June. These contracts include the second construction contract that involves building the second 10-km section of track and station platforms, signalling and power supply.

The authority will invite firms to bid for work on the final 10-km stretch of track in July.

The successful bidder will build the first 10-kilometres of track and the station platforms

The $850m first line of the network will be 30-km when complete. It is scheduled to open on 12 December 2012.

In November 2009, Casa Transports awarded a contract for the enabling works on the line to France’s Alstom (MEED 18:11:09).

This contract includes re-rerouting underground utilities, such as power cables and water pipes, as well as diverting roads and constructing foundations for the tramway platforms. Alstom will also supply 74 trams that will run on the line. It is scheduled to deliver the trams by the end of 2011.

France will lend €225m ($285m) to Morocco to fund the purchase of rolling stock for the Casablanca tramway project.

The Casablanca tramway involves the construction of three further lines in the city. In total, the four lines will cover a distance of 76km.

Systra is the project manager for the tram scheme. The French rail group is partnered by its subsidiary, Systra Morocco, and the local CID Engineering & Development Consultants.