Greek-Dutch construction group sets up shop in El Aaiun

Incentivized by Morocco's plans to construct another port to accommodate its exports of conflict minerals from occupied Western Sahara, port construction firm Archirodon Group NV opens a subsidiary in the last colony of Africa.
Published: 01.05 - 2019 10:36Printer version    
WSRW has today sent a letter to Dutch-based construction group Archirodon Group NV about its reported decision to set up a subsidiary in El Aaiun, occupied Western Sahara.

Archirodon specialises in port construction, and is quoted in Africa Intelligence as "targeting the port of Laayoune's modernization plans but also the projects of phosphate giant OCP in the region." OCP SA is the Moroccan state-owned phosphate company that exploits the phosphate mine Bou Craa in occupied Western Sahara through its subsidiary Phosboucraa. OCP reportedly has plans to build a new port about 30 kilometers from El Aaiun, the capital city of Western Sahara, in order to handle the production from the Bou Craa site. Archirodon, which has been contracted by OCP before for work in Morocco proper, is said to be eying that particular development.

Archirodon's website so far makes no mention of the new office in El Aaiun. The webpage does include the details for their office in Casablanca, in Morocco proper.

Archirodon Group NV is based in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, but has Greek roots: the firm emerged from the 1959 joint-venture of two Greek construction companies, Archimidis – a marine contractor - and Odon & Odostromaton, specializing in road construction. Archirodon, with its parent company Archirodon Group N.V., registered in the Netherlands in 2000, but has offices, branches and project sites in several countries – and now even in a Non-Self-Governing Territory, without the consent of its people.

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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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