The Prime Minister’s office in Egypt has requested the two firms competing for the contract to build, finance, operate and maintain a monorail in Greater Cairo to present their final technical and financial offers with a view to awarding the contract soon.

MEED earlier reported that two consortiums, one led by Canada’s Bombardier and the other by China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), have submitted an offer for the contract in 2015.

The Prime Minister’s office will decide on the winning bidder based on the final offer that will be presented by both groups according to three variations of daily passenger volumes: one for 200,000, another for 250,000, and a final one for 300,000, according to a local media report.

The planned monorail will extend 35 kilometres from 6th October City and Sheikh Zayed City with the transport networks in Greater Cairo. Government authorities earlier specified that the line will run 52km.

The project was initially being supervised by the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development, which prematurely announced in May 2015 that it had commissioned the Canadian-led team to build the project. Egypt’s Ministry of Transport (MoT) subsequently took over the scheme in late 2015, and said it would be working closely with the Housing Ministry on the implementation. CGGC subsequently made its offer.

It is understood both groups have initially proposed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC)-cum-finance approach, with the Chinese group understood to have proposed providing loans through Export-Import Bank of China.

If the proposed EPC-cum-finance model is not approved by parliament, then a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model that would require an open tender could be considered, MEED was told in January.

In October 2015, local media reported that a consortium of 10 banks had submitted an offer to fund half of the project cost at £E6.6bn ($822m).The offer was submitted to the New Urban Communities Authority (Nuca), an agency affiliated with the housing ministry, which was understood to have agreed to fund the scheme and repay the banks over a 14-year period.