The construction of a new commercial and cruise port at Safi on the Atlantic coast of Morocco has begun.

Turkish firm STFA Marine Construction Company has won the contract to build the new facility, located 15 kilometres south of the Safi. The company set up a branch in Casablanca last month to support the project.

The project will be carried out in three phases. The first phase is set to cost about AED4bn ($470m) and is due for completion in August 2017.

The new port is intended to support the country’s energy and chemical industry.

In particular, the port will support the Office National de L’Electricite et de L’eau Potable’s thermal power plant, as well as a new phosphate production hub being developed.

The hub will cover 1,300 hectares, and include five sulphuric acid production units with a capacity of 1.4 million tonnes a year (t/y) and five phosphoric units with a capacity of 450,000 t/y.