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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Transportation Ministry breaks ground on final phase of Cairo Metro Line 3

Officials broke ground yesterday on the third phase of Cairo Metro Line 3, a Cabinet statement says. Our friends at Orascom Construction began their tunneling work on the line right after Prime Minister Sherif Ismail gave the signal at a ceremony, according to an emailed statement (pdf), which explains that the project is being executed by “an Egyptian-French joint venture comprised of VINCI, Bouygues and Arab Contractors” and that the third phase of Line III will stretch across 18 km of tunneling and viaduct works, including 15 elevated, grade and underground stations,” according to Orascom.

Background: Orascom and Eurovia subsidiary ETF had signed back in 2016 the EGP 180 mn + EUR 60 mn agreement to execute the civil and track work for the line with the Transport Ministry. A EUR 300 mn loan from the French Development Agency and a EUR 600 mn loan from the European Investment Bank are covering 60% of the project’s cost, while the Egyptian government will cover the remainder. The total price tag stands at EUR 1.53 bn and EGP 10.5 bn, according to National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) head Tarek Gamal El Din.

This phase is expected to be complete and operational in around six years, Gamal El Din said, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Once it opens its doors to commuters, it will save state coffers c. EGP 2 bn per annum from lower fuel consumption and broad environmental benefits, according to Transport Minister Hisham Arafat.

NAT and French public transport operator RATP had been in talks to establish a JV to operate the new line. Suggestions of the JV entails an 80/20 split ownership, with NAT holding the largest piece of cake. Since April, NAT has been waiting on amendments to the law regulating the authority’s operations to finalize the agreements for the new company, according to NAT spokesman Hassan Tawfik. Zaki Hashem & Partners are reportedly acting as legal advisors to RATP.

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