The Egyptian National Railways (ENR) will use a €290 million financing package from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to expand its fleet and upgrade its services.
The funding will go towards the acquisition of up to 100 new diesel locomotives under an outsourced supply-and-maintenance contract as part of ENR’s locomotive renewal programme.
ENR has an old fleet with an average of 30 years which has caused a lack of availability as well as maintenance and carbon emissions challenges.
New locomotives will enable the railway company to provide a more reliable and higher quality service; create jobs; lower carbon emissions; deliver additional revenue due to better availability, and save operating costs through improved fuel consumption.
Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Dr Sahar Nasr said, “This project will provide a better quality of life and economic development opportunities. It complements the EBRD’s continued support for Egypt’s development strategy of building new roads, highways, tunnels and connections across the country.”
EBRD will, in addition, provide technical assistance support to ENR to develop and implement a comprehensive freight reform programme and a commercialisation plan for the freight sector including the separation of freight operations from passenger transport and the introduction of track access charging.
The technical assistance will also support ENR in implementing a focused awareness campaign to make railway transport safer for women which will contribute to increased access and ridership of both men and women to transport services which are essential for access to jobs and economic inclusion.
The EBRD started activities in Egypt, a founding member of the Bank, in 2012, investing in sectors from financial, agribusiness to infrastructure and manufacturing and has to date invested more than €2.3 billion through 43 projects in the country.
It recently provided a $25 million loan to finance the working capital of United Metals Company (UMC), an Egyptian manufacturer of copper rods; and $186 million for the development and expansion of the services of Fayoum Water and Wastewater Company.
The EBRD has also provided technical assistance support to over 500 small and medium-sized local enterprises in Egypt.