Chinese company BYD, a major manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, among other products, has signed an agreement with the authorities of Egypt’s largest port city of Alexandria to build a monorail line of 128 kilometres length.
The project is set to be Africa’s first monorail line. The cost and details of the project have not been made public yet.
According to Chinese News agency Xinhua, the potential collaboration comes four years after Alexandria local authorities began exploring options to relieve their city of chronic traffic jams.
BYD’s monorail system is substantially cost saving and quicker to construct compared to a subway, requiring only a fifth of the cost and one third of the construction time.
To this end, the Chinese manufacturer took about 5 years and spent 5 billion yuan (USD 750 million) to develop the system called Yungui (SkyRail), in Yinchuan, China. Monorail trains can reach a maximum speed of 80 km/h.
According to the World Bank, the annual cost of congestion in Egypt’s greater metropolitan areas amounted to around EGP 50 billion (USD 2.83 billion) a year, about 4 per cent of Egypt’s entire GDP.
Photo: BYD monorail system „SkyRail” in Yinchuan, China