Egypt Today: Transport Minister Kamel Al Wazir on Wednesday received French Ambassador in Cairo Stephane Romatet, the commercial counselor with the French Embassy, and the regional director of the French Development Agency (AFD).
The heads of the Egyptian Railway Authority (ENR) and the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), alongside senior officials of the Transport Ministry also took part in the meeting that mulled ways of boosting Cairo-Paris cooperation in various transportation fields.
The Minister of Transport emphasized the depth of relations between Egypt and France.
He mentioned projects and contracts currently being implemented under the two countries’ cooperation, including the third phase of Cairo metro line, which is constructed by a consortium grouping France’s Vinci with Egypt’s Orascom and Arab Contractors.
The joint projects also include a contract for the management, operation and maintenance of the third metro line (Cairo University / Imbaba / Abbasiya / Adly Mansour) between the National Authority for Tunnels and the French RATP DEV group, he added.
The two sides discussed additional projects to be partly financed by France, including two projects aiming at upgrading Abu Qir tram into a metro line and rehabilitating El Raml tram, where the minister stressed the importance of these two projects, especially with the great interest of the Egyptian government in developing the mass transit system nationwide.
Wazir explained that a contract had been signed with SYSTRA; a French international engineering and consulting group to prepare tender documents for the two projects.
The French participants expressed their interest in participating in several railway and metro projects, including the electrification of signals for the Tanta / Mansoura / Damietta line, and the duplication of distance between Damietta and Mansoura, as well as cooperation in the field of electromechanics in the Ain Sokhna / Alamein high-speed train project and the rehabilitation of mobile units for the first metro line.
As for the first project, the minister emphasized that as soon as the consultant completes the studies on the project, it would be offered to all international companies, including French firms.
He added that cooperation in the field of mobile units of the first line could be achieved through cooperation between the French side and the Egyptian National Company for Railway Industries, which will establish and manage a mobile units factory in East Port Said to customize the manufacture of metro, train, and monorail vehicles.
Other projects also offer an area for cooperation between the two sides in the field of railways, including the Hurghada / Safaga / Qena / Abu Tartour railway line project, the railway extension project from Aswan to Toshka, as well as the Alfardan / East Port Said / Arish railway project, Wazir said.
He also invited French companies to take part in many promising investment opportunities in the metro field, including the sixth line of Khosous / New Maadi project; which would be presented to all international companies as soon as the studies are completed.
Also, the multi-purpose terminal project in Alexandria Port is one of the promising investment opportunities, as all international companies in the field of managing and operating container and multi-purpose terminals have been invited to submit their proposals to take part in the project aiming to make it one of the most important multi-purpose stations in the Middle East and the world.