543km line will link the cities of Ain Sokhna and Alamein
An Egyptian-Chinese consortium has been awarded the tender to design, finance and operate a high-speed rail project that will link the cities of Ain Sokhna and Alamein in Egypt, it has been reported.
According to various media reports, the high-speed rail project will cover 543 kilometres and will reach speeds of 250kmph, at a cost of $9 billion. It will also pass through the cities of Sixth of October, Burj Al-Arab and Alexandria.
A report from Egypt Independence added that the supreme committee supervising the project had chosen the offer of the Egyptian consortium, led by China’s CCECC company. The consortium comprises Egypt’s Samcrete, Arab Organization for Industrialization along with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, and China Railway Construction Corporation.
The Egyptian government had launched an international tender for the project, which saw nine international consortia submit bids for the project. A committee was formed from the ministries of housing and transport to examine those bids, the report added.
It said that the bids were narrowed down to two consortia – the first which has been chosen for the project; with the second being AVIC, China State and CREC from China, Siemens form Germany, France Railways, Orascom and the Arab Contractors.
The CEO and managing director of Samcrete Sherif Nazmy told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the project represents a major turning point as Egypt now joins the list of countries using express trains, thus completing the big boom in the transportation sector and the infrastructure and development projects that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi started.
This project is considered to be a second Suez Canal, he said, because it connects the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea in a three-hour trip, accelerating the pace of development by transporting passengers and goods.
He continued that for the first time in Egypt since 1854, an electric railway line is being implemented, at a length of 543 kilometers and a speed of 250 kilometers – the longest and largest line in the Middle East.
Nazmy added that an agreement is in place with the Chinese partner to jointly manufacture train coaches in east Port Said by building a factory to manufacture and transfer technology to Egypt.