The National Authority for Tunnels is to invite local and international companies to apply by 1 October to prequalify for the first phase of the Cairo metro line 3 project. Discussions are also continuing about financing for the scheme. Contractors say the costs of the first two phases, linking the central Ataba Square to Heliopolis in the northeast, will be some£E 4,500 million ($1,000 million - MEED 8:3:02).
The first phase will cover the 5 kilometres from Ataba to Abbasiya, and will involve the construction of five new stations. Line 2, which runs from northern Cairo to Giza in the southwest, passes through Ataba. The second phase of line 3 will run the 6 kilometres from Abbasiya to Heliopolis. The next phases will entail extending line 3 westwards to Imbaba. The line's total length will be 33 kilometres.
The scope of works will include tunnelling, supply of rolling stock, mechanical and electrical works, signalling, ventilation and track work. Project sources say a strong response is expected to the prequalification invitation. Most of the work on the first two lines of the system has been done by the French Interinfraconsortium, led by Alstom.
The European Investment Bank, which has provided a loan for the extension of line 2, has indicated that it is considering providing finance for line 3.
Preliminary and basic designs for the first two phases of line 3 have been prepared by France's Systra. The French transport consultancy has also drawn up a masterplan which clearly establishes the need for the expansion of the metro system eventually to include up to six lines.
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