The governments of Spain and Morocco have reactivated the meetings of the Spanish-Moroccan mixed committee to continue with the studies of the so-called ‘Fixed Link of the Strait of Gibraltar‘, which projects a tunnel connecting both countries under the sea throughout the 14 kilometers that separate both countries.
This was announced by the Minister of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, on the occasion of her presence at the Spain-Morocco Summit that is being held this week in Rabat and in which she also insisted on the interest of Spain, both from companies public and private, to form part of the infrastructure plans in this country.
“We are going to give a boost to the studies of the Fixed Link project of the Strait of Gibraltar which was started by both countries forty years ago. A strategic project for Spain and Morocco and also for Europe and Africa”, highlighted the minister.
Negotiations to build this link began in 1979 and the construction of a suspended bridge was even considered, an option that was discarded from 1995, when the project focused on a submerged tunnel, similar to the one that exists between France and the United Kingdom, in this case 50 kilometers long, 39 of they submerged, to overcome the 33 kilometers of the Calais pass.
Through all these years three deep borehole research campaigns have already been carried out under the sea and different projects with socio-economic and environmental impacts, which now need to be updated to the new legal-institutional and financial frameworks.
Mutual collaboration in infrastructures
Apart from this construction, the Spanish minister highlighted the interest of Spanish companies in participating in Moroccan infrastructure investment plans, such as the airport, port and railway, with special interest in the development of the high-speed network , taking advantage of the leadership that Spain has in this area.
New high speed lines
Specific, Morocco plans to extend its high-speed network with 1,300 kilometers of new lines that will link Casablanca-Marrakech-Agadir, on the one hand, and Oujda with Rabat, on the other; and expand and modernize its airport and air navigation network, such as the plans that already exist for the airports of Marrakech, Tangier and Agadir.
Thus, Sánchez has signed two Memorandums of Understanding with the Moroccan ministers of Infrastructure and Water, Nizar Baraka, and Transport and Logistics, Mohammed Abdeljalil, to define the cooperation frameworks between the two countries, both in the field of transport and infrastructure .
The document states that both countries can carry out collaborative activities related to the development of railway infrastructure and the exploitation of railway operations and railway trafficincluding the maintenance of trains and rolling stock, the design of workshops, the training of railway personnel or the implementation and operation of railway traffic management systems.
Likewise, it also contemplates collaboration in planning, management and regulation projects for the road transport services sector or maritime traffic control and management and operation of the navigation aid service, among other areas.