Egypt’s Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Ministry (MHUUD) is preparing to invite contractors to bid for the contract to develop the $1bn Rod el-Farag highway. The tender closing date is expected to be in October.

In May, the highway was put on hold until after the parliamentary and presidential elections in the autumn. Parliamentary elections are due to be held in September with presidential elections scheduled to be held two to three months later (MEED 24:5:11).

In October 2010, the ministry prequalified five consortiums to bid on the project.

The five prequalifiers include:

  • Orascom Construction Industries (local)/Besix (Belgium)/Egis (France)
  • Strabag (Austria)/International Group for Investment (local)/EFG Hermes (local)
  • Salik Motorway Consortium: Gek Terna (Greece)/Porr Solutions (Austria)/Hassan Allam Sons (local)
  • GS Engineering & Construction Corporation (South Korea)
  • Nilelink Motorway Consortium: China Communication (China)/Soares da Costa (Portugal)

The project was planned to be carried out on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis. The MHUUD will be assisted by the Finance Ministry. The successful bidder will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the highway for 20 to 25 years.

The Rod el-Farag highway will be 35 kilometres long with seven major intersections and will run between Cairo corniche and 6 October City, a satellite town. It will also link the Cairo ring road with the Cairo-Alexandria desert highway and Shoubra, a district of Cairo.

It will comprise eight lanes, four in each direction and a 12-metre-wide alignment for a twin-track electric light railway. The project will also comprise two major bridges across the river Nile and an option to toll the road once complete.

The Rod el-Farag highway is aimed at relieving congestion on the 26 July road in central Cairo.