Cairo metro Line 3 opens



EGYPT: The 4∙2 km five-station Phase I of Cairo metro Line 3 was opened on February 21, linking the eastern part of the capital from the city centre.

A consortium led by Vinci Construction with Bouygues Travaux Publics, Orascom and Arab Contractors, took 51 months to complete the underground section between Attaba and Abbasiya at a cost of €235m. Vinci subsidiary ETF-Eurovia Travaux Ferrorviaires led the consortium responsible for the supply and installation of 11 km of track and third rail in the tunnel.

Currently 60% complete, Phase II is scheduled to open by 2014. This will continue the line eastwards by 6∙5 km from Abbasiya to Al Ahram, adding five more stations. Phase II is being built by the same contractors under a €569m turnkey contract awarded in 2009. Equipment suppliers include Colas Rail and Alstom for the signalling; Mitsubishi will supply the additional rolling stock.

In December 2008 the French government agreed to lend €200m over 17 years at a 0∙15% interest rate to help finance Phase II. The remainder was provided by the French Development Agency (€100m) and the Egyptian government (€269m). A separate Japanese financing deal worth €100m covered the cost of additional trains.

The National Authority for Tunnels is currently working on the design studies for Phase III, continuing the line westwards from Attaba to Imbaba, and an extension from Abbasiya to Cairo International Airport in the east. This would eventually take the line to 33 km.