By Mohamed Ayyad and Rehab Saber
Chairman of the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) Ismail El Nagdy told Daily News Egypt that the Ministry of Finance has transferred EGP 9bn from the state treasury to implement the final phase of the “airport metro” project.
El Nagdy added that the total implementation costs for this expansion amount to EGP 11bn and the project is expected to be completed within three years.
A total of EGP 80bn is required to fund the wider expansion of Egypt’s metro network, which also entails building the first phase of the fourth line metro line in Cairo, in addition to building metro lines in Ismailia and Port Said under the canal.
El Nagdy stated that the ministry has also approved EGP 7bn for the NAT to purchase new trains for the final phase of the third line, bringing the total cost of the phase to EGP 18bn.
He said that NAT authority signed a contract with VINCI Construction France to implement the fourth phase of the third metro line, which will run from Haroun station to Heliopolis square, Alf Maskan, El-Shams Club, Nozha 1, and Nozha 2 at a total length of 5.1 kilometres. The NAT has also signed a contract with Orascom Construction Industries and Arab Contractors to build the section above ground which will measure 6.3km in length and will run to Nozha 2 station and Al-Salam close to10th of Ramadan City.
El Nagdy also announced that the third line will stretch 6.6 kilometres underground and include five stations, forming an extension of Haroun station through Cairo airport. He added that the total length of the final phase is 18.7 kilometres, with 15 stations, 10 of which are located underground and 5 aboveground.
He stated that NAT is currently finalising the financial and technical aspects of the offers submitted to implement the third phase of the third Attaba/Kitkat line, and that the winning companies will be announced within two months.
Implementation for metro line projects was broken down into six main units of work: central control, communications and signs, civil and electromechanical works, railway operations, mobile units, and a unit for ticket equipment.
He pointed out that French Alstom is the most important company implementing central control operations, while Spanish firm OHL and French firm VINCI are at the forefront of civil operations work. Two other French companies have sent their technical and financial offers to partake in bid for the tickets equipment work.
Technical and financial offers for mobile unit work will be sent in shortly so that work may commence next December.
The winning companies are to begin drilling operations for the Attaba/Kitkat line by the beginning of 2015, and the phase is expected to last three years before completion.
El Nagdy affirmed that the government will fund 50% of the project, while the European Investment Bank and the French Development Agency will fund the rest. He explained that the European Investment Bank provided €600m to complete the project, in addition to €300m donated by the French Development Agency.
He announced that bidding for implementation of phase one of the fourth line, known as the ‘Al-Haram Metro,’ has been postponed until May until the feasibility studies conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are completed, ownership of Al Haram street is resolved, and line equipment is transported.
Implementation for this phase is expected to begin by the middle of next year.
El Nagdy clarified that JICA will fund 50% of phase one of fourth line construction through a loan worth $1.2bn while the state treasury will fund the rest.
The NAT also requires funds to construct three metro lines in Port Said and others in Ismailia as part of the Suez Canal development project, set to cost EGP 4.5m over the next three years. El Nagdy added that the total cost for metro construction is approximately EGP 13bn.
He also highlighted that annual maintenance work requires EGP 750m and that, last year, metro losses reached EGP 180m.
He said that NAT is waiting for final legislation to be issued by the cabinet allowing the authority to establish affiliated companies in order to increase metro revenues.