EBRD grants €200m loan to fund construction of port in Morocco

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide €200m to finance the basic infrastructure of a new port in Nador, Morocco.

Under the terms of the deal, the EBRD investment will cover the construction of a breakwater, quays, dredging and related infrastructure works in the Nador West Med project.

Additionally, EBRD Shareholder Special Fund and the SEMED Multi-Donor Account with members including Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taipei China and the UK together will fund €1m.

"This port is part of a wider development approach which will provide a platform for private-sector led market expansion and help attract foreign investment."

A monitoring consultant from EBRD will be nominated to provide management support in incorporating environmental protection measures including the use of lower-carbon cement at the new port.

Société Nador West Med (NWM), a state-owned limited liability company will deliver the Nador West Med project.

EBRD Southern and Eastern Mediterranean managing director Hildegard Gacek said: "We are very pleased to develop such an important project in Morocco.

"This port is part of a wider development approach which will provide a platform for private-sector led market expansion and help attract foreign investment.

"Moreover, the development and operation of the terminals will provide a boost to regional economic growth."

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development are expected to co-finance with EBRD on the project.

EBRD will sign a separate implementation agreement with the AfDB that will guide them on arrangements for cooperation on procurement for the project.

The mixed cargo port, located on Morocco's Mediterranean coast at 30km from the town of Nador, will feature terminals for container transhipment, hydrocarbons, bulk (including coal) and Ro-Ro For containers, hydrocarbons, bulk (including coal) and Ro-Ro.

During the port's construction phase a number of environmental protection measures will be incorporated, including the reduction of the port's carbon footprint by using a lower-carbon cement.

The project is expected to contribute to the reduction of regional disparities and support the economic development of the region, as well as improving regional access to infrastructure.

Société Nador West Med director general Mohamed Jamal Benjelloun said: "The Nador West Med project is a priority project for Morocco and represents a key element of a wider development project including a port-industrial platform, Free Zone and logistics capability."

With investments totalling €640m in 22 projects, the EBRD has been investing in Morocco since 2012.

Additionally, EBRD has more than €150m of trade facilitation credit lines with local banks in the country.