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USTDA GRANT PROMOTES DEVELOPMENT OF WASTEWATER TREATMENT INFRASTRUCTURE IN MOROCCO

RABAT, MOROCCO (September 26, 2007) – As a continuation of the agency's support for the Kingdom of Morocco's efforts to identify viable solutions for wastewater treatment throughout the country, USTDA awarded a grant to the Office of Potable Water (ONEP). The grant will fund early investment analysis on the construction of a proposed industrial wastewater treatment system in the City of Berrechid.

The $392,000 grant was conferred yesterday during a signing ceremony held at ONEP's office in Rabat. U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Thomas Riley and ONEP Chief Executive Officer Ali Fassi Fihri signed the agreement on behalf of the U.S. Government and ONEP, respectively.

Morocco has developed industrial zones under a development program instituted by the Government of Morocco in the late 1970s. However, most of these industrial zones, including the one located in Berrechid, are not equipped to handle industry effluents and deal with the collection and treatment of wastewater. The lack of infrastructure leads to numerous health issues, as well as environmental concerns that can threaten the surrounding areas.

To address these issues, the Government of Morocco is implementing stricter environmental laws to improve the country's management of wastewater discharges and more effectively address water scarcity issues. In addition, enforcement actions have been increased in order to comply with European Union environmental regulations, which require certification that exporters of food products meet strict standards for the treatment of wastewater.

The USTDA grant awarded yesterday will help to alleviate environmental problems at the industrial park in Berrechid by evaluating the quality and quantity of waste emissions from the park. The USTDA-funded assistance will also include the development of the financial and technical plans for implementing a more efficient system that includes waste removal.

The grant follows the award of a separate grant to ONEP earlier this year. That grant is funding a study of the waste generated by meat processing facilities in Morocco to identify optimal water usage schemes for on-site treatment and the complete removal and disposal of wastewater.

The opportunity to provide technical assistance to ONEP under the grant awarded yesterday will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fbo.gov. Interested U.S firms should submit proposals following the instructions in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. ONEP will select the U.S. firm that will provide the USTDA-funded assistance.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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