MOROCCO - Energy & Mining
Managing Director, Alstom Maroc
Nourddine Rhalmi has been Managing Director of Alstom Morocco since 2018 and is responsible for the commercial and operational side. He manages more than 500 employees in Morocco and France in charge of numerous railway infrastructure projects, train delivery projects, and maintenance activities on behalf of operator customers. In addition, he is also responsible for the industrial site in Fez.
What is your assessment of the industry’s ability to navigate the pandemic?
No one was prepared for this pandemic, and for most of 2020, the transportation sector came to a halt all over the world. We saw different countries closing their borders and confining people from certain regions. On our side, we had to think differently; it is becoming increasingly complicated to have a proper supply chain across different countries. We needed to create strategies to avoid being hampered by challenges similar to COVID-19. Many operators lost 50-60% of their traffic due to the restrictions put in place. We needed to look into creating solutions and services that can make transportation safer for customers. For example, with air conditioning, we had to figure out how to stop the spread of the virus. There were a few proposed solutions for which our customers can make easier choices in terms of safety.
Alstom completed the construction of a factory in Fez in 2020. How important is it for Alstom’s operations and projects in Morocco to be supplied by this local factory rather than importing products and services?
During the pandemic, we ensured that Fez was running normally, with all the safety measures put in place, and we did not have any interruptions along the supply chain. The Fez factory allowed us to strengthen our position in Morocco. We have been here for a century. Although everything for rolling stock, from locomotives to high-speed trains, used to be made in Europe before, today, everything linked to cubicle, electrical looming, and wiring is produced in Fez. This also applies to all the products sold by Alstom in many cities around the world. This makes us extremely proud. Morocco is a bridge between Europe and Africa, and therefore our presence in the region is essential. To support these activities, we set up an excellent training programs in house and many partnerships with local universities across the country. To be noted, the strong support from the government to the industry brings competitiveness to European partners. Our products have become a reference; Alstom products made in Fez can be found in most tramways and high-speed trains. We are an exemplary of what can be done in Africa.
Alstom signed a protocol with ONCF to be responsible for the new generation of locomotives as well as producing trams for Casablanca. What potential do these projects have?
We won the contract for Casa Tram – Lines 3 and 4, which was an international tender. We had the opportunity to propose the exact product the client was looking for at the best possible price, and we were able to meet the needs of both the client and end users. In terms of our protocol signed with ONCF, as part of the agreement, ONCF and Alstom will handle the maintenance of not only the new generation of electrical trains, but also the old ones. We will bring together our knowledge, expertise, and people. The more we know about how the operator operates, the better our product will be, and vice versa.
What are Alstom’s goals and expectations?
In 2021, we plan to maintain and grow our activities in Fez as per the plan formulated a year ago. And thanks to the acquisition of Bombardier, Fez’s activities will grow. Another goal for this year is to start manufacturing tramway CitadisTM for Casablanca Lines 3 and 4. Our ambition is also to develop our partnership for maintenance activity with ONCF and continue the growth for that program. Moreover, we should maintain our current level of quality and on-time delivery to promote the Made in Morocco brand while inviting foreign companies to invest in the country. The ideal is to create a strong industrial network. We want to support the ambition of the Kingdom of Morocco to promote the railway industries.
By sponsoring our events you are able to best participate in the discussions that matter to you, as well as gain unique networking opportunities.