09 April 2019
Egypt's National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) is planning a light rail project for Mansoura City in the Dakahlia Governorate, a top NAT official has said.
The Authority is responsible for planning and executing tunnels and metro infrastructure projects in Egypt.
Head of Central Planning Department Tariq Abu Al Wafa told Thomson Reuters Projects that the Authority is evaluating underground metro and monorail options for a 30-kilometre light rail network for the governorate's capital.
He said the French government had financed a feasibility study undertaken by transportation consultancy Systra. The French firm had arrived at a cost estimate of 43.5 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.5 billion) for the metro and 41 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) for the monorail, he said, while noting that the monorail option is the front runner for the light rail project as the metro is also expected to take more than 12 years to implement.
He said Systra was also awarded the feasibility study and supervisory services contract for the extension of Cairo Metro's second line from Shubra El Kheima station to Qalyoub city. The project also includes the construction of a multi-storey parking complex next to the Qalyoub metro station.
Al-Wafa disclosed that China's AVIC International has come forward with an offer to fund and build a 90-kilometre light rail line that will link Mansoura City with New Mansoura City. The Chinese company is currently building a electric railway line connecting Salam City with New Administrative Capital.
The NAT official said the authority is likely to issue a tender for upgrading the first line of the Cairo Metro after six months.
In December 2018, Thomson Reuters Projects had reported that the Egyptian government and the European Investment Bank (EIB) had signed a €350 million loan agreement for the project.
Al-Wafa said the loan amount would be used for upgrading the signalling systems of the first line, which extends for 44 kilometres and includes 35 stations.
(1 US Dollar = 17.31 Egyptian Pounds)
(Reporting by Eman Hamed; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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