Alstom has signed a deal with Serbian capital Belgrade to supply trains and a new rail transport system for the country's first metro rail line.
Under the deal, Alstom Transport will provide rail equipment for a proposed 15km of tracks with 25 stations across the city, which is home to a population of 1.64m.
The proposed metro rail project will be located on the southern bank of the Danube, incorporating a Y-shaped line that will connect the central districts of the city, linking Ustanicka-Novi Merkator to Tvornicka on one branch to Zelesnicka Stanica Novi Beograd on the other.
A preliminary study will be conducted by France-based Egis Rail to determine the full technical and operational features of the line, including the type of rolling stock required for the project.
The study will be completed in 15 months, including four months of planning.
Alstom will be responsible for building the transport system, including track laying, catenaries and power supply, signalling equipment and rolling stock.
Each of the proposed carriages can carry about 600 passengers; however, the final design of the carriages will be determined following the study.
In addition, Belgrade has signed a deal with France to secure financing for the project.
France has committed to providing $5.14m from the Private Sector Study and Support Fund (FASEP) for preliminary study, as well as fund guarantees for half of the €900m-€1bn required for the project.
Serbia would help Belgrade secure the remaining half of the money needed for the project.
Serbia's deputy premier Bozidar Djelic was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that "the Serbian Government will support the project by providing the necessary sovereign guarantees to Belgrade, but we don't expect this will burden the budget of Serbia."
"The expected loan would have 15-year maturity, including a five-year grace period and an average interest rate of 5%," Djelic said.
Belgrade metro rail system is part of the Urban Master Plan of Belgrade 2021, which has been designed to expand and modernise the public transport network of the Serbian capital.
Under the plan, the main line-L1 will be extended into two other lines (L2 and L3), while the first line is expected to be operational by 2017.
The second line is planned to run from Banovo brdo in the suburbs to the Law Faculty downtown. The two lines should connect on the new bridge across the Sava River.