Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), a division of the Transport Ministry, is undertaking talks to finalise loan terms with three banks that agreed to co-finance the majority of the €749m ($872m) planned upgrade of Cairo Metro Line 1, which first entered service in 1987.
Earlier this year, UK-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it has agreed to provide €200m in sovereign loan, while Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) and Paris-based Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) have agreed to co-finance the project by providing €350m and €50m, respectively.
The metro line scheduled to be upgraded extends 44 kilometres from El-Marg to Helwan in south Cairo.
The €749m loan is expected to cover signalling, telecoms, controls and track works.
Recent local media reports, however, have cited that the budget for the overall upgrade of Line 1 is estimated at LE32bn ($1.78bn).
In addition to signalling, telecoms, controls and track works, the total renovation package will extend to setting up new ticket booths, installation of new lighting systems, and the manufacture of 52 new trains and refurbishment of another 23.
It is understood that certain segments of the upgrade plan have started. Twenty of the 52 new trains have entered service and some 850 ticket booths have been installed.
Cairo Metro Line 1, which features 34 stations, was built at a cost of $250m in the 1980s. It has a design capacity of 2 million passengers a day. The latest available figure indicates that passenger numbers are 1.6 million a day.
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