Egypt to invest EUR 14 billion in rail infrastructure

Egypt’s Minister of Transport, Hesham Arafat, said the country is targeting up to EUR 14.4 billion investment in new rail and metro projects. Arafat said the majority of the investment being sought is for three high-speed rail lines running from Luxor to Cairo, Alexandria to Cairo and from Luxor to Hurghada, which will have a combined cost of EUR 13 billion.

The most important of these projects is the Cairo to Luxor line – a EUR 6 billion, 700-kilometers line that will take about five years to be build. Transport Minister Arafat said studies indicate investors would earn an internal rate of return of about 9 per cent on the project, which is expected to carry about 3.4 million passengers per year. “You can finance it using any model, like BOT [build, operate, transfer] or direct finance,” he said.

The EUR 4 billion Luxor to Hurghada line will be 300 kilometers long, will carry an estimated 1.5 million passengers and will offer returns of 10 per cent, according to the Minister. It will take four years to be build.

The Alexandria to Cairo line has an estimated cost of EUR 3 billion and will be 210 kilometers long, carrying up to 2.3 million passengers a year. It is expected to take three years to build and offer returns of 11 per cent over its lifespan.

Other projects for which it is seeking backing include a EUR 934 million, 34km underground line in Cairo from Imbaba to the airport, a EUR 275 million super tram linking satellite cities in New Cairo to the underground network, an EUR 82 million passenger and freight line from Mansoura to Damietta and an EUR 85 million freight line connecting Egypt’s biggest phosphate mine at Abu Tartur to Safaga port.

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