Toyota Tsusho awarded the new contract of Marine Research Vessel for Morocco
- Japanese shipbuilding technologies will contribute to industrial development in Morocco -

Toyota Tsusho Corporation ("Toyota Tsusho"), supported by CFAO, its subsidiary, awarded the new contract for oceanographic and fishery research vessel construction project from the National Institute of Fisheries Research of Morocco, a subsidiary organization of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests.

The amount of the contract is approximately 5 billion yen, which funds are provided under a Japanese ODA loan agreement executed by the governments of Japan and Morocco. Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. will build the vessel, with completion scheduled in 2020 and delivery to Morocco planned to take place in 2021.

1. Background

Fishing is an important export industry in Morocco, surpassed by automotive and phosphorous. In Morocco, approximately 170,000 persons are directly employed in fishing, and a total of about 500,000 are indirectly employed, and thus fishing plays an important role in local employment. Morocco faces the Atlantic Ocean and has excellent fishing grounds. Octopus, squid, tuna, and other fishery products are exported to Japan and other countries, but since the 2000s, catches have become unstable and long-term management of fishery resources has become an issue. As a result, improvement and enhancement of fishery resource research is needed, and the aging of research vessels and a lack of research facilities have been increasing necessity for a new vessel as urgent issue.

2. Overview

The research vessel to be delivered by Toyota Tsusho, the first vessel purchased by Morocco using funds from a yen loan agreement under the Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP), will be built at the Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding Tamano Shipyard in Japan. The new research vessel will be used to conduct conventional surveys, but will also make it possible to investigate deep-sea marine organisms and environments. By utilizing this new vessel, establishment of evaluation systems based on integrated ecosystems including the relationships between marine environments and living organisms, and investigations for the sustainable development and utilization of deep-sea marine products are under planning.

3. Toyota Tsusho’s business activities for Infrastructure Projects in Northwest Africa

Toyota Tsusho Group, being involved in automotive, healthcare, and other industries in Morocco for many years, has received for the first time an order in the infrastructure segment. CFAO became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho in December 2016, and following establishment of Toyota Tsusho Africa Division in April

2017, CFAO created Technology & Energy Division in April 2018. Then the two companies have begun full-scale development of energy and infrastructure projects, such as electric power and ports. We recognize this new order as a foothold and utilize CFAO as a base for developing projects not just in Morocco but throughout northwest Africa including Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon, and other French-speaking countries. We will contribute to the industrial development and the sustainable economic growth of all countries in the region.

The Image of Marine Research Vessel