On 16 May 2017, the Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr signed a financing agreement worth EUR 100 million for the Alexandria Raml Tram Rehabilitation Project with the French Ambassador to Cairo André Parant and Director of the AFD Cairo Office Stéphanie Lanfranchi, in presence of the Minister of Transportation Dr. Hesham Arafat, within the framework of Egyptian- French distinguished relations and both countries’ keenness on strengthening bilateral relations.
The Minister explained that the project aimed to rehabilitate the Raml Tram in Alexandria along with maintaining the Raml-Victoria line, which would be extended to western south through the establishment of a 0.9 km new station between Al-Raml Square and Ahmed Orabi Square at Al Manshiya.
The Minister further mentioned that the project was expected to cut the total duration of the trip from an hour to half an hour and to improve it through renovating stations and its carriages, thus Alexandria would have a new effective tram. She explained that the project was based on a study conducted by the largest European companies and would easily provide tickets to citizens and students, while shedding light on the project’s economic and environmental dimension and on the government’s keenness on implementing it as soon as possible.
In addition, Dr. Nasr pointed out that MIIC gave priority to supporting the transportation sector, while expressing her appreciation of Dr. Arafat for the strategy he laid out to develop the sector in an integrated manner, which contributed to supporting MIIC’s negotiation position with international financial institutions to secure funds for the field in Egypt.
Accordingly, Dr. Arafat expressed his appreciation of the Minister, noting that the total cost of the project was worth EUR 360 million, EUR 80 million of which would be provided in the local currency. Moreover, the European Investment Bank (EIB) expressed its willingness to co-finance the project with EUR 180 million, in addition to EUR 100 million to be provided by the AFD. He added that the project’s feasibility study would be conducted by a French company.
The project, as stated by Dr. Arafat, came within the framework of mass transportation which represents more than 25% of Alexandria’s transportation system, given that the number of vehicles reached 400,000 ones. Hence came the need to rehabilitate the Alexandria tram along 13.7 km. He also noted that the project would serve 75 million citizens annually and would be implemented within 3 years.
On his part, the French ambassador commended strong relations and economic cooperation between Egypt and France, while reiterating France’s full support of Egypt’s development projects.
Ms. Lanfranchi indicated that the AFD contributed to financing a number of significant projects, topped by the third line of Cairo Metro (Phases I&II), small and micro enterprises in favor of the Social Fund for Development (SFD), Natural Gas Delivery, besides supporting SMEs in the agricultural sector and improving water and wastewater services (Phases I & II).