Economic review

CRCC to build Morocco tower

2017-05-19 12:21:00 (Beijing Time)         China Daily

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China Railway Construction Corp has won the bidding to build Africa's tallest high-rise tower with local partners in Rabat, the capital of Morocco, the company said on Thursday.

CRCC International Ltd, the international arm of CRCC, in a consortium with Moroccan companies, will work on the construction of the 250-meter-tall skyscraper. The contract is said to be worth $375 million, with the Chinese firm holding a 60 percent stake.

According to the CRCC's headquarters in Beijing, the tower in Rabat, which will include offices, hotels and luxury apartments, will adopt ecological and sustainable design concepts. The total designed floor space is 86,000 square meters.

The project, CRCC's first skyscraper in Morocco, will accelerate the development of infrastructure and engineering projects not only in North Africa, but also in other markets related to the Belt and Road Initiative, said the CRCC.

"Building this project also shows that Morocco is eager to attract global companies and tourists through better-developed infrastructure facilities," said Zhou Yongfeng, an economics professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing.

Zhou said Chinese contractors need to pay special attention to the high expectations of their foreign clients, who sometimes struggle to find suitable service providers for their projects, especially in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.

Unlike other Chinese construction companies, which focus only on engineering, procurement and construction projects, CRCC has gradually transformed its business model to offer build-operate-transfer projects and public-private partnership projects, particularly in developing economies.

CRCC is building eco-agriculture factories in Thailand, a 92,000-seat stadium for Qatar's 2022 World Cup, housing projects in Nigeria and light railway projects in Israel.

"These projects can also generate decent financial returns in the long run, because many foreign clients and partners need to minimize utility and maintenance costs," said Zhao Ying, a researcher at the institute of industrial economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

Eager to enhance their earning capacity, other Chinese construction companies, such as China Communications Construction Co and Shanghai Construction Group, have already offered services such as construction and low-cost service solutions for buildings, bridges, stadiums and railway maintenance in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and Southeast Asia.