China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and Egyptian companies Samcrete and the Arab Organization for Industrialisation have won a $9bn contract to build a 543-km-long high-speed railway in Egypt, reports newspaper The Egypt Independent, citing "senior sources".
Accommodating train speeds of 250km/h, the line would link the Mediterranean coast at El-Alamein to the Red Sea at Ain Sokhna, cutting the journey between the two cities to three hours.
The scheme’s importance to Egypt was compared to the Suez Canal by the chief executive of Samcrete, Sherif Nazmy, who told Arab-language newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm that it would be the first new electric railway in Egypt since 1854.
According to Nazmy, the trains would be manufactured in east Port Said, with Chinese technology transferred to Egypt.
The railway will pass through the cities of Sixth of October, Burj al-Arab and Alexandria, the report said.
Nine international consortia bid for the project in response to an international tender launched by the Egyptian government, said the newspaper.
Image: The waterfront of Ain Sokhna on Egypt’s Red Sea cost (Ahmadpontymageed/CC BY-SA 3.0)