Egypt’s Ministry of Transportation plans to float a tender for the construction of the third phase of Cairo metro Line 3 during the first week of April, says a source at the ministry.

Capacity constraints are forcing the expansion of the region’s oldest metro system, with its current usage rate of 3 million passengers a day expected to grow to 5 million by 2020.

Line 1 of the metro system was completed in 1987, while Line 2 was completed in 2004. The construction of metro Line 3, also known as the Revolution Line, has been broken down into four phases, with each phase again broken down into a series of construction deals.

Phase one of metro Line 3 was built by a consortium led by France’s Vinci Construction Grands Projects, comprising France’s Bouygues Travaux Publics, the local Orascom Construction Industries and the local Arab Contractors.

The consortium also recently completed construction of phase two of metro Line 3. Phase two is now under trial and is expected to open next month.

A construction tender for phase three is expected to be issued within a week. In 2012, the EU and the French Development Agency (AFD) signed a €940m ($1.2bn) deal with the Egyptian government to fund the third phase of metro Line 3.

Total costs for phase three are estimated to be around €2bn, including rolling stock that is expected to be financed through external funding managed separately by the Egyptian government.

The project’s €940m financing package comprised a €40m grant from the EU through the Neighbourhood Investment facility (NIF), a €300m soft loan from the French Development Agency (AFD), and a €600m soft loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The project, which extends between Attaba in the north and Cairo University in the south of the country, will be 17.7km in length and consist of the following three parts:

  • The first part will be 4km long, running from Attaba Station to Kit Kat Station in the west of the city and will have four underground stations.
  • The second part will be 5.7km and will run from Kit Kat Station to Rod el-Farag in the north of Cairo and will have six stations.
  • The third part will be 6.9km and will run from Kit Kat Station to the junction of Line 2 at Cairo University Station in the south of the city.

Phase four of Line 3, which is still in the design phase, would extend from Al-Ahram to Cairo Airport.

Three future lines are also planned for the Cairo metro. In 2012, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a  $334.8m overseas development agreement loan for Line 4.