The Egyptian Transport Ministry has unveiled a plan to introduce a rail line that will link Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
The project, which will be financed by France, will be executed by a consortium of Egyptian and French companies, Egypt Today reported.
Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris’s Orascom Development Holding will participate in developing the project through the National Egyptian Company for Railroad Industries (NERIC).
Launched in 2020, NERIC is a joint venture between the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, Suez Canal Economic Zone, Orascom Development Holding, Hassan Allam Properties, Connect Information Technology and Samcrete Urban Development.
NERIC will produce 300 railcars annually and invest in feeding the railway industry.
The Transport Ministry stated that local manufacturing will substitute imported railcars and train engines by 60-75 percent within the first six years of the project.
The rail link will extend from Aswan City to the Abou Simbel district in the south and the Toshki district in the Western Desert. It will further link the Sudanese city of Wadi Halfa and the capital, Al Khartoum. Essentially, the aim is to better link Egypt and Sudan.
Other Egyptian companies to participate in the project include Railway Equipment Factory, which is affiliated with the Arab Organization for Industrialization and military production factories.
Orascom Development Holding is a Swiss company engaged in the real estate sector. It is engaged in hotels, real estate, construction and destination management.
With more than 30 hotels and approximately 101 million square meters of land, its portfolio further includes touristic destinations in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Oman, Switzerland, Morocco, Montenegro and the United Kingdom.
Sawiris currently serves as non-executive chairman on the company’s board.