Egypt sets up $240mln company to build railway cars

The new company will construct two plants at East Port Said north east of Cairo

  
A woman wearing a protective face mask sits inside an empty metro train, as she travels on a line Shubra al-Khaimah to Tahrir Square, before the start of a night-time curfew amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt April 17, 2020.

A woman wearing a protective face mask sits inside an empty metro train, as she travels on a line Shubra al-Khaimah to Tahrir Square, before the start of a night-time curfew amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt April 17, 2020.

REUTERS/Rania Gomaa

CAIRO - Egypt's government has set up a $240 million company to build and repair railway and metro carriages, initially to supply the Egyptian market, the project's organisers said in a joint press release on Tuesday.

The state-owned Suez Canal Economic Zone and the Egypt Sovereign Fund set up the company, with several private companies also taking stakes.

The new company will construct two plants at East Port Said north east of Cairo, the first with an annual capacity to build 425 railway and metro carriages, and the second to make parts, the new company's director Ahmed Fikry Abdel-Wahhab said.

The first phase will cost 2.8 billion Egyptian pounds ($178.8 million) and create 2,000 direct and indirect jobs, said Karim Sami Saad, chairman of Samcrete Engineers and Contractors, one of the private stakeholders.

Orascom Construction will take a 15% stake and Hassan Allam Holding IPO will also take a stake.

Both Hassan Allam and Orascom announced separate contracts on Monday and Tuesday to help build Cairo's fourth metro line.

The new project will begin refurbishing carriages by the fourth quarter of 2021 and manufacturing carriages a year later.

($1 = 15.6600 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Patrick Werr; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ((patrick.werr@thomsonreuters.com;))

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