Transport and Logistics Minister Mohammed Abdeljalil said on Monday that an Al Boraq high-speed train (TGV) line linking Casablanca to Agadir would cost more than 75 billion dirhams.
Mohammed Abdeljalil said that the government attaches great importance to the TGV project between Casablanca and Agadir, considering it a vast project that will strengthen regional integration and stimulate the economy.
Al Boraq is a French-made double-decker TGV that travels at a speed of 320 km/h. For the moment, it provides the Tangier-Casablanca, Tangier-Rabat and Tangier-Kenitra connections. The commissioning of TGV has reduced the journey time between Tangier and Casablanca from 4.45 hours to 2.10 hours.
During a session of oral questions in the House of Representatives, the minister added that the ONCF planned to connect the whole of Moroccan territory.
The same government official announced that the preliminary study and the topographic survey are available for the creation of a new line which should extend to Agadir, estimating the volume of funds necessary for this project at 75 billion dirhams.
While noting that the Casablanca-Agadir TGV falls within the framework of ONCF’s medium and long-term plan with a view to covering the entire national territory, the Minister specified that this plan covers more than 1,300 kilometers reserved for the high-speed line and 3,800 kilometers for the conventional network, with the aim of connecting 43 towns instead of the current 23.
“We are looking for innovative solutions to finance the project”he said, adding that “ the office wants to build 1,300 km of new high-speed lines (LGV) as well as 3,800 km of conventional railway lines”.
The ONCF announced at the end of 2021 that it would invest 7.7 billion dirhams to modernize and rehabilitate the country’s railway infrastructure between 2022 and 2024.
Concerns have been raised about the cost of projects taken on by ONCF, as the office’s losses during the coronavirus pandemic coupled with new costs have resulted in a debt ratio of almost 200%.
In 2021, ONCF trains transported 30 million passengers across Morocco, 8.4 million tons of goods and 15 million tons of phosphates.
As a reminder, Al Boraq has switched to green energy since January 1, 2022, the ONCF announced in a press release. “ONCF’s challenge now is to eventually supply all of its trains entirely with clean energy”, advances the ONCF, noting that Al Boraq trains will be the first to offer journeys “eco-responsible with 100% wind energy”.
The railway company is greening the electricity supply cycle of the rail network by substituting its electricity consumption with clean energy. It is carrying out its green transformation gradually, by switching 25% of its overall energy consumption to green energy, to reach 50% in 2023 before increasing it to all, in the medium term.
The Tangier-Casablanca high-speed line (LGV), presented as “the fastest in Africa” was inaugurated in November 2018 by French President Emmanuel Macron and King Mohammed VI.
ONCF was counting on six million passengers after three years of operation. The cost of the LGV, 50% financed by France via various loans, amounts to approximately 23 billion dirhams, nearly 15% more than the initial estimates, but well below the average European costs.
Al Boraq, is also one of the seven fastest trains in the world, with that of France, Spain and China.