AfDB Helps Reduce Air Pollution in Morocco
Tunis, 22 June 2005 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (ADB) has approved through its private sector window, a loan of US $ 85 million, in support of the environmental upgrading of "Société Anonyme Marocaine de l’Industrie du Raffinage – SAMIR".
SAMIR is the main supplier of refined petroleum products on the Moroccan market covering more than 90 % of market needs. The project entails a substantial technological modernization of the refinery including inter-alia a new hydro cracking unit and updated environmental facilities. The goal is to enable SAMIR to address growing domestic demand for semi-distilled products and manufacture products that comply with international environmental standards.
The project aims at enabling SAMIR to comply with international environmental standards governing pollutants from its production facilities as well as drastically reducing air pollutants generated in the combustion of SAMIR refined products. Such improvement would particularly result in a considerable reduction of sulphur oxide emissions in motor exhaust fumes. This project is expected to have a positive impact on populations’ health, notably by reducing the incidence of respiratory diseases. The project also aims at enhancing the commercial competitiveness of SAMIR by reducing production costs, to prepare the corporation for competition in a market that will be liberalized from 2012; and raising supply to meet domestic demand for refined products.
Economic benefits likely to accrue from this project include a significant contribution to the economy of the region of Mohammedia in which the project is located. The project will promote transfer of technology and enhance the skills of the local workforce.
This is the first project of the ADB Private Sector Window directly supporting environmental efforts to reduce air pollution.
The ADB operations in Morocco started in 1970. To date, its commitments in the country stand at US$ 4.9 billion in 85 operations.
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