The World Bank Group (WBG) has approved a $400 million development financing agreement for Egypt to support the transition towards low-carbon transport along the Alexandria–the 6th of October–Greater Cairo Area (GCA) railway corridor, Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation announced on Monday.

The railway, which would be constructed under the framework of the Cairo Alexandria Trade Logistics Development Project, will provide freight trains between the Alexandria Sea Port and the newly constructed 6th of October Dry Port, with an alternative route to the west of Greater Cairo, the ministry said in a statement. 

The operational bypass will also allow 15 container trains per day by 2030, and as demand increases, 50 trains by 2060 to the dry port, along with additional freight trains flowing between the Alexandria Port, Upper Egypt, and the Red Sea, the statement noted.

The project, according to EBG estimates, will strengthen Egypt’s railway infrastructure, enhance the country’s green transition and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 965,000 tonnes over 30 years.

The Minister of International Cooperation Rania A Al-Mashat said the development financing approved by the WBG has a term of 29 years, including a 7-year grace period.

She added that the new project is in line with the national objectives to accelerate efforts to develop sustainable infrastructure and reduce harmful emissions through the expansion of green projects, in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the National Climate Change Strategy 2050; also coming ahead of COP27.

The WBG is also participating in discussions on the Egypt Country Platform for NWFE Program, a nexus of water, food and energy, which reflects COP27 objectives in going from pledges to implementation, the statement noted.

The Minister pointed out that within the development financing portfolio, SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, accounts for 22.3 percent and encompassing 35 projects worth $5.9 billion. The project supports the green transition, part of the $26 billion portfolio of adaptation and mitigation projects worth $11.8 billion.

The ongoing development finance portfolio between Egypt and the WBG includes 15 projects worth $5.7 billion in the sectors of health, entrepreneurship and SMEs, transport, and social protection, among many other areas.

(Writing by Eman Hamed; Editing by Anoop Menon)