Tanger Med, Morocco (PortSEurope) July 1, 2019 – Tanger-Med 2 of Tangier port has been inaugurated to bolster Morocco’s position in the Mediterranean Sea region with a significant increase in cargo capacity.
Tanger-Med 2 connects with 77 countries and 186 ports, benefitting from its location on the western Mediterranean Sea coastline and close to Atlantic Ocean sea lanes. It also benefits greatly from a developed hinterland, where preferential financial terms have encouraged many international businesses to set up manufacturing facilities, exporting goods to Europe and worldwide.
Tanger Med 2 port contains two container terminals, TC3 and TC4. Marsa Maroc, the main operator of ports in Morocco, will operate TC3, which has a capacity of 1 million TEUs. TC4 is operated to APM Terminals, an international container terminal operating company headquartered in the Netherlands, and has a capacity of 5 million TEUs.
The construction work was by Bouygues of France and Boskalis of the Netherlands which used 200 million cubic feet of sand to reclaim around 110 acres for the terminal.
Tanger Port Med already operates more than 50% of Morocco’s exports. The port handled an aggregate value of $33 billion of products in imports and exports in 2018. The Tanger Port Med 2 extension will only increase Morocco’s trade capacity, offering a stronger platform for exports by local production plants.
The expanded port is surrounded by an industrial complex containing more than 750 companies, including the 300-hectare Tanger Automotive City, completed in 2011 and offering a free-trade zone for companies in the vehicle supply industry.
Tanger Automotive City industrial platform offers the status of a free zone to companies involved in industrial, logistics or tertiary activities. Linked to the development of the automotive industry in Morocco, this zone is located close to the Renault Tanger Med plant. Tanger Automotive City has direct access to Tanger Med Port (22 km) and the Tanger Free Zone (20 km). The platform is also connected to a 1,800 km-motorway network and a 2,000 km-railway network.
Renault has a dedicated terminal and in 2018, the port handled 351,191 locally-made vehicles for export.
PSA Peugeot Citroen aims to start production at its Kenitra factory in mid-2019, producing 20,000 units in 2019 before reaching the annual capacity of 90,000 vehicles. By 2020, the plant is scheduled to be able to produce 100,000 cars, with a possible future capacity of 200,000 cars and motorbikes. The output will be exported to other Africa countries, the Middle East and Turkey with a local sourcing rate of 60%.
The Kenitra plant is part of the successful strategy of the local government to develop a Moroccan auto-hub – a financially advantageous industrial zone designed to attract car manufacturers and car part manufacturers, with an emphasis on developing local employment and skills.
Other companies with local facilities include Varroc Lighting Systems, a subsidiary of India-based automotive component manufacturer Varroc Group, Magneti Marelli, a subsidiary of the FCA Group, a plant for shock absorbers, Furukawa Electric, ZTT, JTEKT and Hands Corporation.
Fouad Brini, General Manager of the Agence Spéciale Tanger Méditerranée, said that in 2018, Tanger-Med 1 handled 3.4 million containers, the first port in Africa, ahead of Egypt’s Port Said and Durban in South Africa. It is also the first African port to be labeled EcoPort, part of the main environmental initiative for ports to meet environmental standards set by the European Sea Ports Organization (ESPO).
Brini said that development would continue for a new investment program worth $900 million, adding that this investment program aims at keeping pace with the growth of Moroccan industrial and agricultural exports, through expanding port processing capabilities. The programme will contribute to improving the logistics competitiveness of the African continent and confirm Morocco’s integration in the world’s leading logistics corridors by enabling Tanger-Med to be located within the world’s top 20 container ports, he added.
A celebration event saw Crown Prince of Morocco Moulay Hassan, son of Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, inaugurated Tanger-Med 2 port. At the event, A.P. Moller Maersk CEO Morten Engelstoft said that Tanger-Med is one of the most developed ports within the port network in which the group operates, adding that the port platform is one of the strategic centres within the global network of A.P. Moller Maersk.
The extension is the result of nine years of work and €1.3 billion of public funding along with an equivalent amount pumped in by private investors.
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