Morocco launches US-funded business park tenders worth $500m

The government of Morocco has launched tenders for two industrial complexes with a total value in excess of $500m. The work is being let as public-private partnerships.

The complexes will take the form of a greenfield industrial zone at Sahel Lakhyayta and an extension of the existing Had Soualem industrial area. Both are located about 40km southwest of the city.

The deal is being organised by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Green and Digital Economy (MCINET) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a US development aid initiative. An attempt to launch the projects was made last May, but was disrupted by the Covid pandemic.  

A third project, the Bouznika-Cherrat industrial zone, has already been tendered by MCC.

The five-year programme has a budget of $450, granted by MCC, and supplemented by a grant from the government of Morocco that will be at least 15% ($68m) of the US sum.

Sahel Lakhyayta and Had Soualem will have an area of ​​111 ha, and site clearance work has already been carried out by the Moroccan government.

A statement from MCINET said the aim of the parks was to "attract investment to Morocco’s industrial sector and create employment opportunities for Morocco’s highly skilled workforce, particularly important in the current global economic context impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic".

Companies are being invited to bid for one or two sites. However, they must make a separate bid for each.

Bidders will have to pay a variable entry fee. They will then buy the land, construct on-site infrastructure and manage the completed industrial zones "to full capacity and at a world-class standard".

The winning bids will be selected in a two-stage process. The first will evaluate technical and financial credentials and assess their project plans; the second will evaluate the coherence of the business plan, the entry fee and the projected selling or leasing price of parcels of land.

Selected candidates will sign a 30-year partnership agreement with the government of Morocco to manage and maintain the parks.

  • This article was updated on 29 April to reflect the fact that the Bouznika park has already been let, and amends the deadline for bids to 30 June from 17 September.

Image: The new industrial estates will be some 40km from Casablanca, photographed from the air here in 2018 (Steven Lek/CC BY-SA 4.0)

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