Egypt has signed a €100m loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to upgrade Cairo’s second metro line.
The loan will help to increase capacity of Cairo’s Metro Line 2 by approximately 23% and reduce traffic congestion in the city.
Used by more than 2.4 million passengers a day, the metro is one of the key modes of public transport in the city.
The Egyptian National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) will use the loan to buy 13 new trains to be operated on Line 2 under a supply and maintenance contract.
Additionally, an on-site training programme will be organised for unemployed youth to enhance their skills as part of the project.
EBRD southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region managing director Hildegard Gacek said: "The development of the Metro network has a large impact on people’s lives and their businesses and consequently on the country’s economy. In addition, the investment will provide much-needed on-the-job training opportunities."
The EBRD has provided the loan under its new Integrated Approach for the Cairo Urban Transport Sector, which aims to improve public transport services in the city and the surrounding areas through investment and reform.
Funded by the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the SEMED Multi-Donor Account and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund, technical cooperation activities will accompany the various phases of the project.
The 78km-long Cairo metro network currently carries three million passengers a day and may reach five million by 2020.
The network includes two complete lines, with a third partially open due to construction in different phases.
In November, Alstom won contracts worth roughly €190m from the NAT to supply signalling, telecommunications and electromechanical equipment for the phase three extension of Cairo Metro’s line 3.
Comprising a 17.7km line extension and 15 extra stations, phase three is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
Image: The €100m EBRD loan will help to alleviate traffic congestion in Cairo and increase capacity of Metro Line 2. Photo: courtesy of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.