China Railway CRCC 14th Bureau Group
A high-speed train. CREDIT: Hitachi Rail Ltd

Egyptian-Chinese consortium wins bid for high-speed rail project

An Egyptian-Chinese consortium has won a contract for the implementation of the country’s first high-speed rail project connecting Ain Sokhna with El Alamein. The consortium comprises Egypt’s Samcrete Engineers and Contractors S.A.E and Arab Organization for Industrialization along with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, China Railway 14th Bureau Group and China Railway 20 Bureau Group.

Nine international consortia submitted their bids following the launch of an international tender by the Egyptian government. A consortium of AVIC, China State Construction and CREC from China, Siemens, and Egypt’s Orascom and Arab Contractors came second in the selection process concluded on September 3.

Under the $9 billion contract, the consortium will be responsible for the financing, design, construction and operation of the rail line in a combined engineering, procurement and construction, and financing (EPC+F) model.

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The 543km-long high-speed rail project will connect the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea through the New Administrative Capital, 6th of October City, Rod El Farag, Wadi El Natroun, Borg El Arab, Alexandria and El Alamein. The maximum train speed will be 250 km/h, cutting the coast-to-coast travel time to 3 hours.

The project is expected to accelerate development in the country through faster transportation of passengers and freight.

In a bid to transfer technology and know-how to Egypt, the CEO of Samcrete Mr Sherif Nazmy reported that an agreement is in place between the Egyptian and Chinese partners on joint manufacturing of train coaches in East Port Said Industrial Zone.

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The high-speed rail project is one among several rail projects being undertaken by Chinese firms in the country. The 10th of Ramadan light rail transit project is currently under construction by AVIC International and China Railway Group. The high-speed rail project builds on China’s involvement in major infrastructure projects in Egypt and Africa at large.

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