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Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Big new rail company plans to invest USD 10 bn + tons more rail transport news from Cairo ICT

INVESTMENT WATCH- Big new rail company plans to invest USD 10 bn + tons more rail transport news from Cairo ICT: The Suez Canal Economic Zone and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt signed an agreement yesterday to set up the National Egyptian Company for Railroad Industries (NERIC) — the new company specialized in producing and refurbing locomotives — at the Cairo ICT expo Monday, according to a Planning Ministry statement (pdf). The company is expected to invest USD 10 bn over the next few years, Planning Minister Hala El Said said.

Private sector firms look like they’ll hold the majority of the equity in the new company, but the minority stake to be split by the SCZone and SFE will be preferred shares that give them extra voting rights and a claim to a larger percentage of any profits or gains on exits, El Said suggested to Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi last night (watch, runtime: 9:09). The minister didn’t specify the extent of the preferred voting rights or the questions on which they might be exercised. The exact ownership breakdown among the private sector firms still isn’t clear but the ministry statement says that Orascom Construction (OC), Samcrete, Hassan Allam Holding and Connect Information Technology will hold stakes, with OC taking a 15% share.

The investments include a EGP 2.2 bn facility that will eventually house three lines: One to upgrade rail engines, one to produce metro cars, and another to produce high-speed, long-distance railcars, Chairman Ahmed Fekry said, according to the local press. The production lines will have a capacity of 150k pieces of rolling stock per year. The planned investment is part of a plan to modernize Egypt’s ailing railway network and kickstart rail exports to other countries in the region, Fekry added.

Other agreements signed at the expo:

  • Setting up a railway signaling control center in the Technical Institute for Rail Technology, under an agreement between the National Railways Authority and the Egyptian arm of French manufacturer Alstom.
  • The christening of the New Cairo monorail station One Ninety through an agreement between the National Tunnels Authority and Landmark Developments.
  • An MoU between the General Authority for Land and Dry Ports and a consortium of unnamed American and British companies to conduct a feasibility study for the Sohag Dry Port and logistical zone.
  • A training and skill transfer agreement between Huawei and Trans IT, which will see the Chinese tech giant provide training to its staff.
  • Setting up a railway engineering training academy in Cairo with Bombardier Transportation, to train new local engineering graduates.

OTHER RAILWAY NEWS: Orascom Construction will spend EUR 2 bn on the construction of the two monorail lines for the new administrative capital and Sixth of October, CEO Osama Bishai said at the expo, according to Al Mal. The project entails a 54-km-long monorail system connecting Nasr City with the new administrative capital, and a 42-km line between Sixth of October and Giza. A consortium made up of Bombardier, Orascom Construction, and Arab Contractors signed a 30-year contract for the construction and maintenance of the lines last year. The two lines are expected to cost more than USD 4.6 bn, USD 3 bn of which will be spent on construction and USD 1.67 bn on operating and maintaining the lines for 30 years.

OC, Mitsubishi sign USD 800 mn contract for civil works on Cairo Metro Line 4: A consortium of Orascom Construction and Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi signed a USD 800 mn contract with the Transport Ministry for railway works for the first round of Cairo Metro Line 4, OC said in a press release (pdf). The project will be financed through a JPY-denominated loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which we previously noted is funding the first phase of the new metro line. The OC-Mitsubishi consortium signed the agreement during this week’s TransMea 2020 expo, which is currently underway as part of the Cairo ICT conference.

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