The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has given the go-ahead to Egypt’s loan request of up to $284.28m (€250m) to partly finance a project to transform Alexandria’s Abu Qir railway into an underground metro.

The current rail line links downtown Alexandria and the north-eastern district of Abu Qir.

This financing will be utilised for the execution of infrastructure works to upgrade and electrify the railway, modernise signalling, communication, and central control systems, and for the procurement of new railway cars.

The loan will support EBRD’s strategy to enhance the quality and sustainability of infrastructure facilities in Egypt.

It is part of a $1.82bn (€1.6bn) investment package, projected to be co-funded by the European Investment Bank, the French Development Agency, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), a state-owned executive agency associated with the Egypt’s Ministry of Transportation, will be in charge of the Alexandria Metro project.

This new metro will help the country move towards greener transport options.

Through a long-term contract, the operator of the metro will be given to an experienced metro operator.

Since its inception in Egypt in 2012, the EBRD has made an investment of over $8.76bn (€7.7bn).

The bank has facilitated the execution of 134 projects, of which over 75% were for the private sector.

Last month, Moldova’s national railway operator Calea Ferată din Moldova obtained a loan of $27.18m (€23.5m) from EBRD to upgrade its infrastructure.