Siemens seals $8.5bln deal to build mega hi-speed rail in Egypt

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Running 2,000 km long, the high-speed rail network will connect 60 cities across the country.

Siemens Mobility and its consortium partners Orascom Construction and The Arab Contractors have signed a contract with the Egyptian National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), a governmental authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport of Egypt, to create the sixth largest high-speed rail system in the world.

Siemens Mobility is a separately managed company of Siemens AG. As a leader in transport solutions for more than 160 years, Siemens Mobility is constantly innovating its portfolio in its core areas of rolling stock, rail automation and electrification, turnkey systems as well as related services.

The Siemens Mobility share of the combined contract is €8.1 billion ($8.54 billion) and includes the initial contract of €2.7 billion ($2.84 billion) for the first line signed in September last year, it stated.

Running 2,000 km long, the high-speed rail network will connect 60 cities across the country, with trains that can operate at up to 230 km/h.

This means that approximately 90 percent of Egyptians will have access to this modern, safe, and integrated rail system. With a modal shift to train transport, the fully electrified network will cut carbon emissions by 70% compared to current car or bus transport, further supporting Egypt’s efforts in transforming its mobility to a more sustainable one, said the statement from Siemens.

Egyptian Minister of Transport Kamel Al Wazir signed the agreement with Siemens President and CEO Roland Busch along with Orascom Construction CEO Osama Bishai and Arab Contractors’ President and CEO Sayed Farouk in the presence of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.

Chairman of Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels Essam Waly and German Ambassador Frank Hartmann as well as Siemens Mobility CEO Michael Peter attended the signing ceremony.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz sent a video message, underlining Germany’s support for the project and its importance for German-Egyptian bilateral relations and global climate protection.

Together with civil works partners Orascom Construction and The Arab Contractors, Siemens Mobility will provide its comprehensive turnkey services to design, install, commission, and maintain the entire system for 15 years, it added.

On the country’s mega rail project, El Sisi said the new electrified trains network comes as a consolidation of the fruitful co-operation between Egypt and Germany in the field of infrastructure, and will represent a valuable great addition to Egypt’s transportation system, marking the beginning of a new era for the railways system in Egypt, Africa, and the Middle East.

« The opportunity to provide Egypt with a modern, safe, and affordable transportation system that will transform the everyday for millions of Egyptians, create thousands of local jobs and reduces CO2 emissions in transport, is an honour for us, » remarked Busch.

« Not only will it promote economic growth, it will also enable Egypt to take a leap forward in rail transportation. With our latest technology in rolling stock, signaling, and maintenance services, Egypt will have the sixth largest and most modern high-speed rail network in the world. In addition, it is the biggest order in the history of Siemens, » he added.

The Egyptian high-speed network will consist of three lines: The already announced “Suez Canal on rails,” a 660-kilometer line connecting the port cities of Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea to Marsa Matrouh and Alexandria on the Mediterranean. And the two rail lines signed today.

The second line will be about 1,100 kilometers and run between Cairo and Abu Simbel near the Sudan border, linking the mega city to rising economic centers in the south. Furthermore, it will allow for the development of communities up and down the Nile, which will subsequently provide additional opportunities for small and family-owned businesses to flourish.

The third line will cover 225 kilometers. This line will connect the world heritage archeological sites in Luxor with Hurghada by the Red Sea. In addition, this rail link will significantly improve the efficiency and sustainability of freight transport for goods and materials between Safaga harbor and inland locations.

« This landmark transportation project is truly historic for both Egypt and Siemens and we are honored to partner with the Ministry of Transport to reimagine the future of transportation in Egypt, » stated Peter.

« The extensive 2,000 km high-speed rail network will connect 60 cities and enable around 500 million journeys a year. It will link the country like never before, fight pollution and global warming, while also providing an effective and reliable method for the movement of goods, » he said.

« Together with our partners, we will develop from scratch a complete and state of the art rail network that will offer a blueprint for the region on how to install an integrated, sustainable, and modern transportation system, » he added.

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