French railway maker Alstom wins billion dollar contract to modernize Cairo metro

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French train maker Alstom has won a € 876 million ($ 1 billion) contract to modernize Cairo’s oldest metro line, the company said on Monday.

The agreement signed with the Egyptian National Tunnel Authority covers 55 nine-car trains and an eight-year maintenance contract.

This is one of 13 contracts signed with various companies to improve the Egyptian transport network on the second day of the TransMea conference in Cairo.

“We are honored to play a role in the development and modernization of the Egyptian urban network,” said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, CEO of Alstom, in a statement.

“With a fleet of around 495 metropolitan cars, more residents will be able to move safely and comfortably every day,” he said.

Egypt has made efforts to modernize its rail and metro system with megaprojects, such as a multi-billion dollar high-speed rail line connecting the Red Sea and Mediterranean coasts to be built by Siemens, Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors.

Cairo Metro Line 1, launched in 1987, carries around 2.5 million passengers per day between El Marg and Helwan on the eastern bank of the Nile.

Each of the new metro trains will be able to carry 2,580 passengers during rush hour. The design, with wide hallways and a space for women, “will reflect the history and culture of Cairo,” Alstom said.

The metro will be designed and manufactured in France while maintenance work will be carried out in Cairo and managed locally.

The project is mainly financed by the French government via a concessional loan of 776 million euros with a repayment period of 25 years and a grace period of 15 years, the Egyptian transport ministry said.

It follows an agreement signed in June between the French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire and the Egyptian Minister of Transport Kamel El Wazir.

Alstom has been a partner of Egyptian railways since 1972 and employs around 500 people in the country. It is currently working on the development of two monorail lines connecting the new administrative capital and the city of October 6 to Greater Cairo.

Alstom, based in Saint-Ouen, near Paris, has 150,000 vehicles in commercial service around the world. After acquiring Bombardier Transportation in January for 5.5 billion euros, the company achieved pro forma revenue of 14 billion euros in the 12-month period ending March 31.

The agreement with Bombardier made Alstom the world’s second largest player in the rail sector behind China’s CRRC.

Updated: November 9, 2021, 3:07 am

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