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A cooperation agreement has been signed between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation (MOIC) that outlines the provision of up to €1.5 million in grant finance to support a feasibility study, including an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, for the Tanta-El Mansoura-Damietta Rail project.
The project will work to improve the railway safety, availability and reliability of a vital rail corridor through the Nile Delta. The EIB financing will be used to upgrade the 118km of line between Tanta and Damietta, with the scope of the investment to be defined during the implementation of the feasibility study.
EIB Director of Operations for Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, Flavia Palanza, said: “With this new loan, the Egyptian government intends to push ahead with the upgrading and expansion of its railway infrastructure. As the European Union bank, we believe that a well-functioning railway transport network can make a vital contribution to reducing the number of cars on the roads and, in this way, lower pollution and mitigate climate change.”
The upgrade will include the doubling of the El Mansoura-Damietta section – representing 65km of track – the re-signalling of the whole line, investments in the railway stations and, potentially, a freight yard and freight link to Damietta port.
The project will impact an important railway corridor connecting Cairo to one of the major Egyptian Mediterranean ports in Damietta, contributing to the overall improvement of the Egyptian railway network, as well as contributing to the development of Egypt’s economic infrastructure.
Ivan Surkoš, Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Egypt, said: “Transport projects have undeniable positive socioeconomic impacts. The EU is largely supporting the government of Egypt in expanding its transport infrastructure through a number of projects, such as phase three of the third Cairo Metro line or the Alexandria Raml Tram. The current upgrade of the Tanta-El Mansoura-Damietta railway goes in line of the EU policy which aims at improving living standards of millions of Egyptian commuters using this important artery through the implementation of an enhanced quality and safe transport system. By improving access and mobility throughout the country, the EU contributes to achieving higher levels of social cohesion and engagement.”
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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