Bethesda, Maryland, USA, 02/07/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/
HM King Mohammed VI arrived on Thursday, February 4, 2016, in Laayoune, the main city of the Sahara in southern Morocco.
It is the King’s second official trip to the Sahara in less than three months as a follow-up to his visit which took place on November 6 of last year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Green March .
On this occasion, HM King Mohammed VI launched, on Friday, in the municipality of Foum El Oued, the construction works of the Foum El Oued-Laayoune Technopolis, a knowledge and innovation city for the development of the southern provinces.
On the same day, the Sovereign also launched at the Phosboucraâ site in the urban municipality of Al-Marsa (southern province of Laayoune), the construction works of the integrated industrial complex of fertilizer production.
The two mega-projects are part of the new development model for the southern provinces as announced by the Sovereign in a speech delivered from Laâyoune on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March. In this historic speech , the King said : “I am keen to make sure we provide our fellow citizens in the southern provinces with all the necessary means to enable them to manage their own affairs and show they are capable of developing their region” adding, ”The kingdom has made sure the inhabitants of those provinces enjoy a free and dignified life”.
The Foum El Oued-Laayoune Technopolis is a 2-billion-dirahm project, which supports the integrated industrial complex of fertilizer production in Phosboucraa, aims to support the economic development of the southern provinces through meeting its territorial specificities.
Located 18 km from Laayoune, the Foum El Oued-Laayoune Technopolis will include an educational and research pole on themes related to Sahara environment, pole on the economic development of Southern regions, cultural pole in addition to social infrastructure facilities.
It will create nearly 1.8 million working days during its construction stage and will create 1,200 permanent jobs by 2022.
In its first phase (655 million dirhams), the technopolis will include the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Laayoune, a high school and an industrial competence center.
The high school will host 360 students as well as other 200 students who will take preparatory courses for prestigious schools. It will contribute to reinforce the training offer in the southern provinces and promote social diversity and merit.
As for the industrial competence center of Laayoune, it is dedicated to training in welding and mechanical engineering, electric and electronic engineering, industrial processes, mining and energetic operations.
Built on an area of 7 ha, the center will accompany the development of the new plants of OCP and support industrial and technological development projects of Phosboucraa.
On this occasion, the King laid the foundation stone of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Laayoune.
This university, which will require a budget of 550 million dirhams, will have a hosting capacity of 2,500 students/researchers. It is expected to meet the needs of higher education and academic research in the region and become a reference institution in Morocco and the sub-Saharan region.
The other mega project launched by the sovereign , the Integrated Industrial Complex of Fertilizer Production in Phosboucraa , which will eventually generate nearly 1,270 jobs, provides for building of a 8.3-billion-dirham platform of fertilizer production, building a plant for phosphate washing and flotation (1.7 billion dirhams), a phosphate drying plant for export (600 million dirhams), and a 500,000 t-capacity stockyard (800 million dirhams).
In order to adapt to maritime, meteorological and characteristics of the coasts of Laayoune (silting), and to develop logistics capabilities (import and export), it is also planned to build a new port (wharf), for a budget of 4.2 billion dirhams.
First in Laayoune, the fertilizer production platform (8.3 billion dirhams) will diversify the product portfolio of Phosboucraa by transforming the phosphate extorted into a phosphate acid and phosphate fertilizers. With an annual production capacity of 500,000 tons of phosphoric acid and one million tons of fertilizers, the future industrial platform (36 hectares) will contain production units of sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, fertilizers, seawater desalination and a 62 MW thermoelectric plant.
On this occasion, HM King Mohammed VI laid the foundation stone of the washing and flotation plant, a major component of the future integrated industrial complex of fertilizer production.
This plant, with a processing capacity of 3 million tons / year, will tap new phosphate layers at the mining area of Boucraâ and optimize mineable deposits.
The plant will include various components, notably two washing lines with a capacity of 400 t / hour, a flotation unit, two sludge decanters and a breakwater for slurry spreading and water recovery.
The construction of all these projects will be done in full respect of the environment.
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