The port project is being managed by the newly-established Tangier-Mediterranean Special Agency (TMSA), which is responsible for designing the studies and awarding contracts and concessions (MEED 25:10:02).

The contract for the first phase of the port’s construction, comprising the dredging, breakwater and major earthworks, is scheduled to be awarded in mid-February. Seven international groups have been shortlisted for the contract and are preparing to submit bids by 20 January. On-site construction of the first phase will begin in May 2003 and is scheduled for completion in September 2006.

The new deepwater harbour at the complex will enable large container vessels to dock on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast. The second and third phases of the project will involve the construction of the docks and platforms, equipment supply for the port and establishment of several free zones in the surrounding area.

The government will finance the construction of the basic works and provide transport infrastructure for the complex. An initial $200 million has been released from the Hassan II fund to help finance the project, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Arab Economic Development has pledged a further $300 million (MEED 20:9:02).