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Monday, 17 May 2021

Big plans for railway manufacturing in the SCZone

Four foreign companies have bid to partner on a facility that will produce rail cars in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), Al Mal reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. Canada’s Bombardier, Russia’s Transmashholding, Germany’s Siemens, and South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem are all in the running to take part in the planned assembly line, which will manufacture different types of rolling stock for the metro, the rail network, and the USD 4.5 bn monorail that is currently under construction.

Who else is involved? The National Egyptian Company for Railroad Industries (NERIC), which was set up last year by the SCZone and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE), will be responsible for operating and managing the project, while the National Authority for Tunnels, the SFE, the SCZone will also be involved, the sources said.

What are the companies bidding for? The foreign partner will initially share technical expertise with NERIC but will only be on board for a set period of time, the length of which still hasn’t been decided, they told the newspaper. The SCZone, meanwhile, will claim a stake in the project for the land that will house the facility.

When can we expect to hear more? We still don’t know for sure. The ministry set up a working group to study financial offers submitted by each of the four foreign railway manufacturers, and is due to hand the offers over to cabinet for a review once it wraps up, according to the sources.

Hyundai Rotem is already involved in Egypt’s efforts to localize rail manufacturing, signing an MoU last month that will see it transfer technology and set up plants that will produce railcars, signaling systems, and control and driving equipment.

The long-term plan: The government aims to get the railway system to rely primarily on locally-manufactured components, with a target to reach a minimum of 25% in two years, 50% in four, and 75% at the end of a six-year period. NERIC plans to invest up to USD 10 bn to push the plan forward.

CATCH UP QUICK-

  • British mining company Nubia Mines has signed a USD 5.2 mn gold exploration agreement with the Oil Ministry. The contract was awarded under last year’s tender which granted 11 mining companies the rights to explore 82 gold exploration blocks in the Eastern Desert.
  • At least two patients were killed after a fire broke out last week at an ICU in a state-run hospital in Kafr El Sheikh as a result of an electrical short circuit, the governorate’s spokesman Ahmed El Samahy said. The Associated Press picked up the story.

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