The European Investment Bank has granted a $342m (MAD 2.6bn) loan to Morocco to finance the expansion of a highway.

Work involves expanding and upgrading the 98km-long highway linking Casablanca and Rabat as well as building a 41km motorway bypassing Rabat.

The loan will cover half of the total project costs.

The project is expected to reduce congestion and enhance safety on the motorway.

The loan is part of the bank’s plans to double its grant to the country to €540m in 2009 from the previous year.