The EBRD is providing SNCFT, Tunisia’s national railway company, a EUR 160 million loan for the upgrade and renovation of two key routes to enhance the network’s capacity and performance.
This financing will contribute also to realignment of the existing Tunis-Kasserine railway line, improving the connection between the two cities and enabling the flow of goods, services and people utilising the rail network, contributing to better integration between the North West and Centre West governorates and the capital city Tunis.
In line with the EBRD’s green economy policy, there are also a number of measures planned to address the growing number of passengers in the increasingly urbanised areas served by the central coastal railway line of Tunisia which will also have energy saving benefits. The Suburban Southern coastal (Sahel) rail line between the towns of Moknine and Mahdia will be doubled and electrified, and the purchase of six modern electric trains will contribute to energy savings and reduction of carbon emissions by 14,000 tonnes each year. As an added benefit, it is estimated that an improved railway service will help decreasing vehicle traffic on the highway network by 10 million vehicles per kilometre per year by 2021.
In addition, a corporate development programme will be introduced to support SNCFT in its railway restructuring efforts and in implementing measures to improve its financial sustainability and operational efficiency.
“We are delighted to support this important railway project demonstrating the EBRD’s firm commitment to the country’s development plan 2016-20, which places the modernisation of transport infrastructure, in particular railways, as a key driver of economic development and regional inclusion,” Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Transport, said.