Alstom announces TGV train contract with Morocco
The French group Alstom said Friday it had signed a nearly 400-million-euro (527-million-dollar) contract to provide Morocco with 14 high speed train sets to enter service in December 2015 between Tangiers and Casablanca.
"This is an excellent beginning contract," said Philippe Mellier, head of Alstom Transport, adding that other deals were possible in future.
"It also shows Alstom's capacity to export its high-speed technology."
Alstom recently suffered a setback when the Channel Tunnel rail operator Eurostar opted to buy trains from Germany's Siemens.
The deal with Morocco was signed in Tangiers by Moroccan Transportation Minister Karim Ghellab, the head of the national rail company Mohamed Rabie Khlie, Alstom chairman Patrick Kron and Mellier.
Morocco is the first African country to launch high speed rail transport.
An agreement on the construction and operation of a 350-kilometer (219-mile) high-speed rail line linking Tangiers and Casablanca via the capital Rabat was signed during a visit to Morocco in October 2007 by French President Nicholas Sarkozy.
The line will eventually be extended to Marrakesh and Agadir.
© 2010 AFP