Egypt plans big rail expansion, nears agreement with Bechtel

Egypt plans big rail expansion, nears agreement with Bechtel
Cairo hopes to finish most of its bigger transport projects by the end of 2024. (Reuters)
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Updated 02 December 2020

Egypt plans big rail expansion, nears agreement with Bechtel

Egypt plans big rail expansion, nears agreement with Bechtel
  • Egypt also plans a 438.5km fast rail at a cost of $8.2 billion

CAIRO: Egypt is rushing ahead with plans for an expansion of its metro and railway networks and is near agreement with Bechtel to implement Cairo’s sixth metro line, Transport Minister Kamel Al-Wazir said on Monday.

Speaking to the American Chamber of Commerce, Wazir said most of the bigger transport projects, which also include dry ports and river transport, should be finished by the end of 2024.

Egypt was working on a memorandum of understanding with Bechtel for feasibility studies and implementation of the $5 billion, 30km sixth metro line, he said.

“Just yesterday we had the contracts and we quickly reached near-agreement,” Wazir said.

“We told them to submit a written offer. If we reach agreement we will begin working at once and expedite all the contracts and agreements.”

Egypt had lined up finance for the metro line from Canada, America, Britain, France and Japan, Wazir said. He did not give its route, but reports have said it will run east of the Nile from north to south.

Last week, Egypt’s Orascom Construction said it and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation had signed an $800 million contract with Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels for work on the 19km first phase of Cairo’s fourth metro line, with financing from Japan.

That line will extend underground from central Cairo to the Pyramids to the west, connecting 16 stations.

Among planned new railways around Cairo are a 49km $175 million line from 6th of October city to the Nile north of Cairo, a 69km $235 million cargo line from Bilbeis to eastern Cairo and a $435 million, 227km dual line to Atay Al-Baroud on the western edge of the Delta.

Egypt also plans a 438.5km fast rail at a cost of $8.2 billion.

In Alexandria it plans a $1.7 billion metro line to the eastern suburb of Abu Qir and a $406 million upgrade of an above-ground tramline through the city.


Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan
Updated 17 January 2021

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan
  • The bank expects economic growth of 6.6% in 2021
  • Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal on Thursday

Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group raised their U.S. growth forecast for the second time this month on expectations that President-elect Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus plan will hasten the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank expects economic growth of 6.6% in 2021, compared with a previous forecast of 6.4%, according to a report published on Saturday. It also raised forecasts for how much stimulus the new administration will be able to push through in the near-term, to $1.1 trillion from $750 billion.
Biden outlined a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal on Thursday, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines to bring the coronavirus under control.
“Larger boosts to disposable income and government spending imply stronger growth later in the year,” the bank’s analysts wrote.