Tunisia is planning to tender the contract for a light rail transit (LRT) public-private partnership (PPP) project in the city of Sfax, some 270km southeast of the capital Tunis, in 2018.

The scheme will extend 16km and has a budget estimated at TND700m ($283m).

According to a source with knowledge of the project, the study and preliminary design for the project have been completed by the client, Societe du Metro Leger de Sfax (SMLS).

“Discussions on land availability are now ongoing,” the source tells MEED.

MEED understands the scheme has been in the planning stage since the early 2000s.

The LRT is one of TND5bn PPP projects that Tunisia plans to undertake over the short- to medium-term.

The rest of the PPP schemes include water desalination, wastewater and power generation projects.

Sfax, considered Tunisia’s second capital city, has a population of over 330,000.