Besix chosen for Africa’s tallest tower in Morocco

Belgian contractor Besix and Travaux Generaux de Construction de Casablanca (TGCC) have been chosen to build the BMCE Bank of Africa tower in Rabat, Morocco, it was announced on Thursday (11 October).

Rik Vandenberghe, chief executive of Besix, said: "The Bank of Africa Tower will be an emblematic building for the country. I am proud to see Besix participating in its construction in Morocco, a kingdom in which it has been a pleasure to work in recent years. In the case of the Bank of Africa Tower, we can count on our solid expertise in high-rise construction."

The Brussels-based company has already completed the Tangier Med II port expansion and built the Mazagan Beach seaside resort in Morocco.

The 250m building is being developed by O Tower, a subsidiary of Moroccan company FinanceCom Group. Its 55 storeys will host a luxury hotel, office and apartments, with an observation desk at the top.

The design was by architects Rafael de la Hoz and Hakim Benjelloun, who are hoping to be awarded a LEED Gold energy efficiency rating, thanks in part to the fact that a third of the tower’s façade will be covered with photovoltaic panels.

BMCE is the second-largest private bank in Morocco (Besix)

The tower will be the centrepiece of the Bouregreg Valley Development Project, which is itself part of the "Rabat City of Light" project, masterplanned by UK engineer Atkins.

The district aims to boost the Moroccan capital’s cultural profile with, among other things, the Grand Théâtre de Rabat, and the Maison des Arts et de la Culture, which was begun in 2014.

The project has had a number of false starts. In March 2016, King Mohammed VI was reported to have been present when the scheme was launched, at a price of $300m.

Its start date was then pushed back to October 2017, at which China Railway Construction Corporation International (CRCCI) was TGCC’s construction partner. CRCCI will "continue to provide support" to the scheme, according to Besix’s press statement.

The works is due to start on 1 November and to be complete by the end of May 2022.

Top image: A rendering of Rabat’s Bouregreg valley development, masterplanned by Atkins (Atkins)

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