Arrival of submarine tunnel between Spain and Morocco seems to be getting closer

by Lorraine Williamson
Spain Morocco tunnel in Gibraltar Strait

Spain’s Minister of Transport, Óscar Puente, expects progress to be made in the development of the tunnel infrastructure that will connect Spain to the other side of the Mediterranean.

The Spanish Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility, Óscar Puente, has travelled to Morocco to meet in Rabat on infrastructure and transport projects. He has informed his Moroccan counterparts, the Minister of Transport and Logistics, Mohammed Abdeljalil, and the Minister of Infrastructure and Water, Nizar Baraka, that Spanish companies are interested in participating in projects being developed in Morocco.

High-speed network

Puente first expressed interest from Spain to participate in the expansion of the high-speed network in Morocco. He referred to the fact that Morocco was the first African country to launch this network (with the Tangier-Casablanca line). But he also spoke about the tender of the Moroccan State Railway Company (ONCF) for the construction of 168 trains. Moreover, the Spanish company Talgo has submitted a bid for this. This involves a total cost of 16,000 million dirhams (€1.4 billion).

“Spain would like to play an important role in this project. We are a leading country in the field of railways. Our high-speed rail is very important. We are the first country in the world in high-speed connections per capita and the second in kilometres after China,” Puente stressed. Furthermore, he is confident in Spain’s chances of being awarded this project. “We are neighbours, and believe that Spain can play a very important role here,” he said.

Cogesa Expats

Talking about a tunnel under the sea

Óscar Puente has also spoken about the progress of the construction of an undersea tunnel between the two countries. This tunnel will connect Spain to Morocco via the Strait of Gibraltar. On Monday, the minister said on Monday a date will soon be set for a meeting. This is to make further progress on the necessary research for this development.

Puente told the press after a meeting with his Moroccan counterpart Mohammed Abdeljalil in Rabat that he is waiting for a meeting between a Spanish and a Moroccan company “as soon as possible”. This project dates back to 1989 and initially envisaged the construction of a bridge linking Europe to Africa. In the mid-1990s, this idea was rejected and replaced by the option of a railway tunnel. It is similar to the tunnel under the English Channel, which separates France from Great Britain.

The original project envisioned the construction of a 38.7-kilometre-long double railway tunnel, with an intermediate service corridor, of which 27.7 kilometres would run below the seabed at a depth of about 100 metres below the seabed.

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