Entire green district of Rabat has Italian heart

Eco-buses and tech neighborhoods unveiled at forum

16 February, 12:13

    (by Olga Piscitelli) (ANSAmed) - RABAT, FEBRUARY 16 - An entire green district in Rabat, with electrical buses, cars and bicycles has an Italian heart in the Moroccan holding that is investing in alternative energy. The group has presented itself in Marrakech at the Photovoltaica event, the first African forum of renewable energy that wrapped up yesterday.

    Marita, an acronym for Morocco and Italy, is headed by Rahhal Boulgoute, a volcanic entrepreneur with a real estate empire, yet boasts collaborations and joint-ventures with several Italian companies. In Trieste, Boulgoute leads Colombin, a centennial company producing cork. In Morocco, he is associated with Maccaferri for the production of material and infrastructure and with the Green Power Group for renewable energy. In Marrakech, the group Marita manages a fleet of 10 electrical buses, mainly travelling on reserved lanes, transporting over 45,000 travelers a day. A solar panel station, in the district of the city, enables to recharge buses. In addition, a system is in place to charge the buses as they travel, which enables them to drive for up to 300 km without stopping. Starting from 2019, the buses will be produced - 1,000 each year - at the El Jadida plant in northern Morocco, which is also part of the holding.

    Boulgoute told the Photovoltaica forum that his ambition is to export the Moroccan model across Africa, beyond the seven countries in which it currently operates, also through Masdar Energy, which is following the government program to cut down greenhouse gases, aiming to bring renewable energy to 42% by 2020 and 52 by 2030, with an investment of 40 billion dollars.

    Electrical cars in Rabat are a first experiment in Morocco, along with the electric bicycle rental to be launched over the next few months in Marrakech.

    The technological district of Rabat is the entrepreneur's key project. The 'Green Tech Valley', which Marita and the Islamic development bank are building on the northern bank of the river Bouregreg, is just a few hundreds of meters away from the site of the city's Great Theater, a project by Zaha Hadid. The 'Green Tech Valley' lies on 3.5 hectares and will occupy 150,000 square meters of constructions with a medical citadel for alternative therapies that will have as partner the European Institute of Oncology founded by Umberto Veronesi, as well as a business district, a mall with 120 windows, a park and a residential area to be built by 2019.

    Educated in Tuscany, where he moved when he was 12, Boulgoute started to work in the cork industry, climbing the ranks from immigrant worker to entrepreneur over three decades. His company has 20 branches worldwide. He then decided to invest in real estate, agriculture and renewable energy. (ANSAmed)
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