Morocco's state port authority (ODEP) has drawn up a $268 million investment plan to upgrade ports infrastructure and equipment in the next five years, an official said.
"The investment plan for 2001-2005 aims at meeting an expected rise
in ports traffic in the next few years. It is the biggest investment budget ever allocated to developing ports," the ODEP official said.
Development of infrastructure, such as extension of wharfs and containers storing areas, would be included in the project, as well as new equipment, including cranes, engines and trucks. The remainder of the budget will go toward the funding of studies, the official said.
All Moroccan ports would benefit from the investment scheme, but Casablanca will get 44.4 percent of the total investment, the official said. Casablanca is the country's main hub for foreign trade with around 40 percent of total ports traffic estimated at some 60 million tons per year. The other main ports are Agadir, Jorf Lasfar and Safi, on the Atlantic coast, and Tangiers and Nador on the Mediterranean.