Egypt signs deal to build a $23bn high-speed rail system

National Authority for Tunnels signs agreement with Orascom, Siemens Mobility and Arab Contractors for a 1,000-kilometre railway network

During the signing ceremony (from let): Chairman of Egypt's National Authority for Tunnels Essam Waly and Siemens Mobility CEO Michael Peter. Witnessed the signing (standing from left): Minister of Transport Egypt Kamel Al Wazir, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser, Siemens Deputy CEO Roland Busch.

Egypt signed an agreement with Siemens Mobility, Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors to design and build the country’s first high-speed rail network that will be 1,000 kilometres long.

The agreement was signed by the country’s National Authority for Tunnels and the consortium, Orascom Construction said yesterday.

The initial high-speed rail line will be 460km long and will cater to both passenger and cargo services.

It will have an order value of about $3 billion and will connect Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea to Al Alamein on the Mediterranean Sea while passing through the new administrative capital east of Cairo.

The mega-project is expected to be completed within two years at an overall cost of 360bn Egyptian pounds ($23bn), Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said, according to the Facebook page of the presidency's spokesman.

The Arab world’s most populous country is undertaking several new projects to upgrade its transport network.

The project builds on Orascom Construction’s transport portfolio that includes monorail, light rail, railway and metro projects.

The Cairo-based company is an engineering and construction contractor mainly focused on infrastructure, industrial and high-end commercial projects in the Middle East, Africa and the US.

Orascom Construction and Siemens have worked together in the past on power projects in Egypt.

“Following our joint success with Siemens on Egypt’s mega power projects, we are pleased to partner once again with our long-term repeat partner,” said Mr Bishai.

The agreement was signed by NAT chairman Essam Waly and Mr Peter last Thursday.

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