National Authority for Tunnels (Nat) has stalled the construction tenders for phase three and the studies for phase four of Line 3 of Cairo metro.

Nat was initially expected to issue the construction tenders for phase three of Line 3 in October 2010.

“I do not expect tenders to be issued before the elections of a new president, therefore I think they will be postponed until the beginning of next year,” says a source close to the project.

Former President Hosni Mubarak resigned from office on 11 February after 18 days of protests against his regime. Presidential elections are now expected in October or November.

Phase three is broken down into four packages 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D. Phase four of Line 3 would involve connecting the centre of Cairo with the airport.

In February, work on phase one and two of Line 3 stopped temporarily due to the protests that were taking place in Cairo at the time (MEED 14:2:11).

However, work has resumed on phases one and two and is progressing normally, says the source.

Phase one involves the construction of a 5.5-kilometre section of track with five underground stations. Work is being carried out by a consortium of France’s Alstom and local Orascom Construction Industries. Phase one of line is scheduled for completion in October 2011.

Phase two of line 3 involves the construction of a 7.2km section of track with four underground stations. France’s Vinci leads the consortium that won the civil engineering contract for phase two in June 2010.

Line 3 will be 40 kilometres when complete. France’s Systra is the consultant on the expansion of Cairo metro.