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Sunday, 27 December 2020

More World Bank railway funding?

The Transport Ministry is in talks with the World Bank for two loans worth a combined USD 400 mn for a planned railway upgrade project, Al Shorouk reports, citing unnamed government sources. The potential funding packages would include USD 200 mn to finance the transition to an electric railway signaling system in the Giza-Beni Sueif line, in addition to another USD 200 mn to finance upgrades to the railway tracks and control system for the line. The government has a plan to spend EGP 56 bn through 2023 to upgrade signaling systems across the country, with EGP 17 bn acquired from foreign lenders. The ministry has reportedly scrapped the tender it had issued last month for the electric signaling system, the newspaper reports, citing an unnamed source from France’s Alstom, which had bid in the tender. Alstom had been invited to bid for the same tender in 2018 but was rejected for being overpriced.

ALSO ON THE RAILWAY FRONT- The high-speed electric rail connecting Ain Sokhna to Alamein is expected to cost some USD 6 bn, according to the newspaper. The price tag includes USD 3 bn for the civil and construction works, which are being carried out by a consortium that includes China Railway Engineering Corporation, China Railway Construction Corporation Limited, the Arab Organization for Industrialization, Orascom Construction, Samcrete, Arab Contractors and others. The remaining USD 3 bn is the expected cost of the electro-mechanical component of the rail line, the sources say. The government had previously said it is looking to tap Siemens for the project.

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