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Monday, 7 December 2020

EUR 1 bn Egypt-Sudan railway could get a leg up from Kuwait Fund

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development could be on board to fund the 900-km railway linking Egypt and Sudan, Al Shorouk reports, citing an unnamed government official. The fund has agreed in principle to finance the project alongside the Egyptian and Sudanese governments, which the source says will cost some EUR 1 bn. A tender to hire a technical consultant for the project is also expected soon, and will be open to foreign bidders. The project, however, faces “technical difficulties” including “a discrepancy” between Egypt and Sudan’s train lines, the source said without elaborating. Sudan uses narrow-gauge track, while Egypt uses standard-gauge.

Background: Egypt and Sudan last month signed an agreement to conduct feasibility studies for a rail connection that would run between Aswan and Wadi Halfa, providing a direct rail link between Alexandria and Khartoum. The agreement was the latest of several other announcements of a planned railway link since Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia agreed to create a joint fund to raise capital for a network of cross-border railway lines and roads back in 2018.

OTHER TRANSPORT NEWS- The National Rail Authority (NRA) plans to launch a tender next year for the upgrade of the Luxor-Aswan rail line’s infrastructure and signaling system, which is expected to cost USD 170 mn, according to a report in Al Mal’s print edition citing an NRA official. The government is planning to spend EGP 17 bn in five years to upgrade signaling systems across the country, which will be financed through facilitated loans from foreign lenders, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir said last year.

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