Casa Transports, the state-owned body in charge of overhauling Casablanca’s transport network, plans to issue tender documents for the estimated $850m contract to build the first tram line by the end of the first quarter this year, according to consultants involved with the scheme.

The work involves the construction of 49 stations on a 30-kilometre line crossing the city from east to west. The line is scheduled to open on 12 December, 2012.

In November Casa Transports awarded a contract for the enabling works on the line to France’s Alstom.

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 to run on the line.

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.

Casa Transports plans to build three other tram lines in the city. In total the four lines will cover a total distance of 76km.

The tram is part of Casa Transports’ $5.9bn overhaul of the city’s urban infrastructure. The wider plan also includes the development of bus services and a highway (MEED 29:11:09).