Posted by: MOROCCO WORLD NEWS
The national railway company ONCF has achieved an operating profit of MAD 223 million during 2016, an increase of 31 percent, the company announced at a board meeting on July 14.
With a turnover of MAD 3.7 billion (+1 percent), added value of MAD 2.5 billion (+3 percent) and self-financing capacity of MAD 673 million (+5.8 percent), ONCF’s financial and management aggregates exceeded budget estimates.
The figures were revealed in a statement at ONCF’s board meeting, which was chaired by Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water Abdelkader Amara. During the meeting, the company’s statistics for 2016 and preparations for upcoming projects were shared.
The minister noted that the railway has developed not only for itself, but in terms of its “socioeconomic significance and undeniable assets for the community.” He continued that the ONCF aims to “completely play its role” as a trainline, confronting the ever growing transports needs and providing sustainable mobility to people and goods. This was evidenced by the revelation that investments in the community were increased by an estimated MAD 2.5 billion because of ONCF.
ONCF Director General Mohamed Rabie Khlie highlighted the key events for the company that took place in 2016: King Mohammed VI’s launch of a project to build a new station in Rabat Agdal, and Prince Moulay Rachid’s inauguration of the “Climate Train” as part of the company’s participation with COP22 environmental conference in Marrakech.
Khlie revealed that during 2016, almost 40 million passengers used ONCF, more than 28 million tons of goods were transported, and MAD 5.8 billion of investments made. He added that these performances were made possible by an investment program that had “reached cruising speed” and made the national rail network between Tangier and Marrakech an “open air building site,” an unprecedented feat in Morocco’s railway history.
ONCF is currently working on a variety of projects to improve the quality of the network’s service and in some cases completely transform parts of the current railway. In order to achieve these aims, the ONCF are undertaking projects to: build a high-speed line between Tangier and Casablanca, triple the train track between Kenitra and Casablanca, double the line between Casablanca and Marrakech, reorganize the railway infrastructure in Casablanca, modernize the means of signaling across the network, and renovate the tunnel between Rabat and Salé.
The press release also emphasized that the company was taking into account the impact of these projects on the ecosystem and was trying to benefit Moroccan businesses by contributing to “the creation of value and sustainable employment.”
By Chloe Koura