Egypt sees hi-speed rail study in 2 months
Cairo, July 22, 2009
Egypt expects an Egyptian-Italian feasibility study for a high-speed railway line between Cairo and Alexandria to be ready in two months, the country's transport minister said.
"We should get the results in the next two months. Our feeling is that it's feasible," Mohamed Mansour told Reuters on the sidelines of a Mediterranean economic forum in Milan.
Once the study is completed Egypt will proceed with the tendering of the project to the private sector. "It will be a public tender open to all investors," he said.
In May, Mansour and his Italian counterpart Altero Matteoli earmarked 550,000 euros ($781,300) for the study, carried out by technical staff from Egypt and Italian state-owned railway company, Ferrovie dello Stato.
"(Ferrovie dello Stato unit) Italferr is doing the study to tell us the route that (the line) will take, the number of passengers and also the cost of the investment," the minister said.
Egypt would probably tender the project to build a motorway between Cairo and Alexandria in the next two or three months, Mansour said.
The World Bank's private sector arm IFC had been appointed as "lead advisor" for the project "so that it will be tendered in a transparent fashion", he said.
The Egyptian capital Cairo and its Mediterranean port city of Alexandria are about 200 km apart. - Reuters