Egypt seeks rail investors

Public Private Partnership (PPP) schemes are planned for three separate rail projects.

The three rail projects have been planned to connect Cairo with surrounding satellite cities.
The three rail projects have been planned to connect Cairo with surrounding satellite cities.

Egypt's National Authority for Tunnels, the government body responsible for the development of the country's infrastructure, is looking for investors to tie up with through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme on three separate rail projects.

The planned schemes are expected to cost over US $1.7 billion (EGP10 billion) to build.

"We are currently preparing tenders for these projects and they should be ready within the next couple of months," said Saad Hassan Shehata, chairman, National Authority for Tunnels.

"We are looking at light rail projects to connect satellite cities around Cairo, which we call the West Wing and the East Wing. The projects will either be a light rail or tram system that will be financed through a PPP scheme. The government is looking for investors to construct these projects."

According to Shehata, the first project will be a light rail system connecting the West Wing's twin cities - Sheikh Zayed City and Sixth of October City - with Cairo Metro's line two. The second project also involves the construction of a light rail system connecting Ramadan City in the East Wing with Cairo Metro's line one.

The third project will be a 'super tram' system connecting New Cairo with line three, construction on which is expected to begin in July.

"We are looking for companies who have past experience in this type of construction and who are working in the field," added Shehata.

"The government will not finance the project or assist in monetary terms but will provide facilities such as land and help out with infrastructure support.

"We haven't budgeted the second project yet, but the first project will cost around $1.2 billion with the third costing around $352 million."

A consortium of Spanish rail construction firm Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and Egyptian railway company SEMAF is tipped to pick up the $668 million contract for the first phase of Cairo Metro's line three at the end of June.

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