Egypt has signed two agreements with a Chinese alliance for the execution of the second and third phases of the country’s first light rail transit (LRT) project, connecting El Salam City and the New Administrative Capital (NAC) through 10th of Ramadan City, Invest-Gate reports.

The agreement was signed by China’s AVIC International, China Railway Group (CREC), and Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), on the sidelines of the third edition of “Trans MEA,” in the presence of Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir, among other officials and dignitaries, as highlighted in an official statement on November 23.

During the exhibition, El Wazir reportedly confirmed, “At this point, work on the first and second phases is 65% complete.”

The USD 1.65 bn (EGP 25.8 bn) first phase, extending from Adly Mansour Station to the New Administrative Capital 1 Station, at a total length of 66.3 kilometers, and comprising 11 stations, is funded through a Chinese loan of USD 1.2 bn (EGP 18.8 bn), with the Egyptian government contributing the remainder, he explained.

Meanwhile, according to the minister, the USD 130 mn (EGP 2bn) second phase, linking the Administrative Capital Station 1 to the Administrative Capital Station 2, and reaching over 3.9 kilometers in length, sees USD 60 mn (EGP 938.8 mn) in funding from China, whereas Egypt’s state treasury would finance the remaining amount.

As for the USD 400 mn third phase, El Wazir affirmed that China will fully bankroll construction, which is set to commence soon on site. It would extend from the Administrative Capital Station 2 South to the Sports City Station over 14.7 kilometers in length, while also stretching from the 10th of Ramadan 1 Station to the 10 of Ramadan 2 Station over 5.3 kilometers long.

All in all, the 90-kilometer high-speed rail line, which is being developed with planned investments of EUR 3 bn (EGP 55.4 bn) by a consortium of Bombardier, Orascom Construction, and Arab Contractors, will enter passenger service in October 2021, with a capacity of 500,000 commuters per day.

On her part, Al-Mashat hailed bilateral cooperation between both countries, notably after Egypt joined the Belt and Road Initiative in 2017. Locally speaking, Chinese-funded development projects across the North African nation stands are valued at USD 1.8 bn (EGP 28.2) in transportation, scientific research, and space industries.