French train manufacturer Alstom won an €876 million ($1 billion) contract to upgrade Cairo’s oldest metro line, the company said on Monday.
The agreement signed with Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels is for 55 nine-car trains and an eight-year maintenance contract.
It is one of 13 contracts signed with various companies to improve Egypt’s transport network on the second day of the TransMea conference in Cairo.
“We are honoured to play a role in the development and modernisation of Egypt’s urban network,” Henri Poupart-Lafarge, chief executive of Alstom, said in a statement.
“With a fleet of about 495 metropolis cars, more residents will be able to commute safely and comfortably every day,” he said.
Egypt has been working to upgrade its rail and metro system with megaprojects, such as a multibillion dollar high-speed railway 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, moves approximately 2.5 million passengers per day between El Marg and Helwan on the eastern side of the Nile.
Each of the new metro trains will be able to carry 2,580 passengers at peak times. The design, featuring wide corridors and a dedicated women’s area, 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 financed mainly by the French government through a €776m concessional loan with a 25-year repayment period and a 15-year grace period, Egypt’s Ministry of Transport said.
It follows an agreement signed in June between French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire and Egyptian Minister of Transport Kamel El Wazir.
Alstom has been a partner to Egypt’s railways since 1972 and employs approximately 500 people in the country. It is currently working on developing two monorail lines connecting the New Administrative Capital and 6th of October City to Greater Cairo.
Alstom, based in Saint-Ouen, near Paris, has 150,000 vehicles worldwide in commercial service. After acquiring Bombardier Transportation in January for €5.5bn, the company reported pro forma revenue of €14bn in the 12-month period ending March 31.
The deal with Bombardier anchored Alstom as the world's second-biggest player in the rail manufacturing sector behind China's CRRC.