Home » Orascom, owned by Egypt’s richest family, to construct new $1.4-billion metro system

Orascom, owned by Egypt’s richest family, to construct new $1.4-billion metro system

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Nassef Sawiris

Orascom Construction, the renowned Cairo-based construction powerhouse controlled by Egypt’s richest family, the Sawiris family, has taken a significant stride towards a transformative project to modernize Egypt’s transportation infrastructure.

In collaboration with Colas Rail, Orascom has signed a groundbreaking Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contract with the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) to develop an advanced metro system in the historic city.

The ambitious metro project, aimed at redefining the transportation landscape in Alexandria, will stretch an impressive 21.7 kilometers and encompass 20 strategically situated stations, connecting the city’s heart to the northeastern town of Abu Qir.

This endeavor marks a pivotal moment in Alexandria’s history, representing the first substantial modernization of its transportation network, a city renowned for its rich cultural heritage.

The total contract value for the project stands at €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion). This sum has been secured through the collaboration of prestigious institutions, including the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), L’Agence française de développement (AFD), and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Orascom Construction, known for its expertise in infrastructure, industrial, and high-end commercial projects across the Middle East, Africa, and the United States, is leading this transformative initiative. The firm also engages in concession development, owns 50 percent of the BESIX Group, and manages a diverse portfolio of building materials, facility management, and equipment services.

Founded in 1950 by the late Egyptian tycoon Onsi Sawiris, the company is currently led by the Sawiris family. The family owns a controlling 51.8-percent stake through their private investment firm, OS Private Trust Company.

Nassef Sawiris, who ranks as the richest man in Egypt, holds a significant 28.97-percent ownership stake, further reinforcing the family’s profound influence within the organization.

The contract with NAT to develop an advanced metro system in the historic city aligns seamlessly with Orascom Construction’s longstanding commitment to enhancing Egypt’s transportation infrastructure. With a substantial role in the development of the Greater Cairo Metro since the 1980s, the company is now poised to replicate its success in Alexandria.

This project underscores Orascom Construction’s leadership and expertise in the transportation sector and highlights its capability to secure high-quality projects with international financial institution backing.

This metro system is anticipated to ease transportation in Alexandria and stimulate economic growth and urban development, cementing Orascom Construction’s legacy as a driving force in the region’s infrastructure development.

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