An Egyptian-Chinese consortium has won a USD 9 bn (EGP 142.19 bn) tender for the design, finance, and operation of a high-speed rail, linking Ain Sokhna and New Alamein, with a speed of 250 kilometers per hour, Invest-Gate reports.

The consortium involves Samcrete Engineers and Contractors (SE&C), Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI), China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), and China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC), which will team up to implement the 534-kilometer-long line for the first time in Egypt since 1854, according to the official statement on September 6.

This would be Egypt’s first high-speed train to connect the Red Sea with the Mediterranean accommodating both cargo and passenger trains. It will pass through Ain Sokhna, 6th of October City, Borg El Arab, Alexandria, and New Alamein, aiming to stand as the largest and longest of its kind in the Middle East and Africa.

Commenting on the milestone, SE&C Managing Director and CEO Sherif Nazmy hailed the new development, emphasizing that it represents “a turning point” for Egypt for linking the country to other countries using high-speed trains.

“The project comes as a new Suez Canal, linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean in three hours, which will usher in a new pace of development through transporting people and goods,” Nazmy was quoted as saying, affirming that developing Egypt’s transport sector and working toward adopting industry technology is of the utmost priorities of this partnership.

Accordingly, an unnamed Chinese partner has been appointed to jointly manufacture train coaches in East Port Said Industrial Zone by building a factory to “transfer and localize the manufacturing knowledge and know-how to Egypt,” the CEO further stated.

Last January, the Egyptian transport ministry had unveiled plans to carry out a number of railway projects across the country from June 2020 to 2022, at a combined cost of EGP 55 bn, as highlighted in a previous ministerial statement.