Franco-Egyptian consortium awarded $500m Cairo metro extension

French consortium Vinci Bouygues Travaux Public has signed a $490m contract to complete the fourth and final phase of the third line of the Cairo metro. 

This latest phase of the project will include the construction of five stations in a 5km stretch between  Heliopolis Haroun station and Al-Nozha 1 in the north of the capital. 

As well as Bouygues and Vinci subsidiary Eurovia, the project team is made up of French companies Alstom, which will handle a $90m package to supply the signalling system, and Colas Rail and Thales, which will handle the integrated communication and fare collection system. They will partner with Egyptian contractor Orascom, which will work on the track and Bahrain’s Arab Contractors. Japanese engineer Mitsubishi will supply the trains.  

A statement from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "This major achievement in the area of French-Egyptian cooperation, the previous phases of which received financial support from the French government and European co-financing, will benefit almost 4 million passengers every day." 

Vinci and Bouygues handed over a 7.2km section of Line 3 in May last year, five months ahead of schedule.  

The success of the consortium was not unexpected: Bouygues and Vinci have been involved in constructing the Cairo metro since signing the contract to build the first line in 1981. 

The metro presently carries 3 million passengers a day and this number should reach 5 million by 2020. Its network includes two fully operational lines and a third, partially opened, whose construction is being carried out in four phases. The present phase should be completed in 2018. 

Photograph: The Cairo Metro logo (Wikimedia Commons)

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