FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2012
MEDIA INQUIRIES:
Steve Lewis| (703) 875-4357

USTDA STUDY TO SUPPORT SAFETY AND SECURITY AT THE PORT OF CASABLANCA

CASABLANCA, MOROCCO – To ensure the safe operation of the largest port in Morocco, USTDA is funding a $571,458 feasibility study to develop recommendations for safety and security related upgrades to the Port of Casablanca. The grant for the study was awarded to Marsa Maroc, a prime port operator in Morocco. The grant was signed March 20, 2012, in Casablanca during a U.S. Chamber of Commerce trade mission to Morocco. CEO Mohammed Abdeljalil signed on behalf of Marsa Maroc, and U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Samuel L. Kaplan signed on behalf of USTDA.

"The modernization of the Port of Casablanca is essential to the transportation and trade infrastructure of Morocco," said USTDA Country Manager Heather Lanigan. "Our reverse trade mission introduced Morocco to U.S. technologies and services to help them accomplish their goals, and this study will recommend specific upgrades and investments to improve the safety and security of the port."

Morocco’s ports system is strategically located to serve as an international platform between Europe and Africa. For decades, port shipping volume has been growing, and the Moroccan government is planning to invest $360 million to modernize the port infrastructure by 2015. The Port of Casablanca currently handles 32% of all national port traffic, and an expected $76.5 million of investments from the Government of Morocco are anticipated to improve the Port's connectivity to inland transportation sources.

The CEO of Marsa Maroc participated in a USTDA-hosted reverse trade mission to the United States in January 2011, to become familiar with the capabilities of U.S. companies in port security and surveillance technology systems. As a result of this trade mission, Marsa Maroc requested this feasibility study in response to the interest from U.S. companies to coordinate on port infrastructure upgrades throughout Morocco.

This feasibility study will provide recommendations to ensure that the Port of Casablanca is compliant with the security measures of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS). The study will also recommend operational strategies, including safety and security training modules and a revised standard operation procedures manual, to improve the safety of the work environment.

The opportunity to conduct the feasibility study will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted on USTDA's website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.

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