Renault to inaugurate giant Tangier plant
The CEO of Renault–Nissan alliance Carlos Ghosn and Moroccan King Mohammed VI will inaugurate Thursday French automaker’s one-billion-euro plant in Tangier which is set to boost Morocco’s automobile industry.
The plant will build several new ‘low cost’ vehicles with an annual capacity that could reach ups 400,000 units.
Morocco has only one car plant in Casablanca and seeks to develop its car industry further with Renault Group which will be exempt from both corporate and export taxes for five years.
The 300-hectare plant, which is located 30 kilometres from the new Tanger Med port and only few kilometres away from the Spanish coast, will reach a production capacity of up to 170,000 vehicles per year at first. This capacity is then set to rise to 340,000 units in 2013 or 400,000 units if the plant operates in weekends.
The plant will start assembling two new models. The first is the Lodgy family car which will be sold in Europe under the Dacia name starting in June and a utility vehicle that will be launched towards the end of this year.
Morocco’s Caisse de Depots et de Gestion (CDG) took over after Renault’s Japanese partner Nissan pulled out from the joint project in February 2009 due to the global financial meltdown.
The mega project is expected to generate 6000 direct jobs and some 30000 indirect jobs in the northern region of Morocco.
Other major groups such as Ford, Indian and Chinese manufacturers are currently prospecting the Moroccan market.
Neighbouring Algeria wants to emulate Morocco by holding talks with the French automobile giant to set up a factory in the north African country. Environmentally friendly The tangier plant emits zero carbon and zero industrial liquid discharges thanks to joint efforts of Morocco, Renault and Veolia Environnement. These staggering results are achieved through the latest innovative manufacturing processes, the use of renewable energy and the optimization of the water cycle, according to Renault’s website.
CO2 emissions from the Tangier plant are cut by 98%, a figure that represents 135,000 fewer tons of CO2 every year, by optimizing energy consumption and using renewable energies. The few remaining tons of CO2are offset either by buying carbon credits or by generating renewable energy on site.
The plant does not discharge any industrial liquids and cuts its water consumption for manufacturing processes by 70% in comparison with a plant with equivalent output capacity. Dr. Saad Guerraoui is senior editor at Middle East Online