Morocco contracts for Alstom

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Alstom has strengthened its long-term commitments to Morocco with rail and power contracts worth over €270m.

Alstom has signed an agreement with the Moroccan government for the design, manufacture, operation and maintenance of the high speed Tangier-Casablanca rail link. Negotiations to begin the project should be completed this year with the first phase between Tangier and Kenitra in operation by 2013. As part of the project, Alstom is scheduled to deliver 18 high speed Duplex double decker trains.

Passenger traffic on Moroccan railways has been rising by 10-15 per cent each year since 2004, and plans are underway to construct 1,500km of high speed rail lines capable of carrying 120 million travellers by 2030. The two routes, the ‘Atlantic Link’ running from Tangier through Marrakech to Agadir, and the ‘Maghreb Link’ running from Rabat through Fez to Oujda, plan to cut journey times and give Morocco the most advanced rail transport infrastructure in Africa, equalling French rail standards.

Alstom have also signed a contract worth €74m with Moroccan National Railways (ONCF) for the delivery and maintenance of 20 new generation Prima electric locomotives. With a very high traction power of 6MW, they will be used from 2010 throughout the Moroccan network for freight and passenger services.

In addition, Alstom signed a €200m contract with Spanish firm Abener on behalf of Morocco’s Office National d’Electricité (ONE) to equip and maintaining the new Aïn Béni Mathar power plant in north-eastern Morocco. The plant will be one of the first gas combined cycle power plants to also use solar energy. It will generate a total of 470MW, 20MW of which will come from solar energy collected by a 183,000m² field of solar panels. The electrical power will be produced by two GT13E2 gas turbines, a steam turbine and three air-cooled turbogenerators supplied by Alstom.

By combining solar power and gas combustion technologies, the plant will increase the renewable energy sources in Morocco and reduce the cost of producing electricity while limiting CO2 emissions.