By Islam Atriss
The head of the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), Ata Al-Sherbini, announced that the Korean company Rotem has recently won a bid to provide 20 air-conditioned trains for Cairo’s Marg-Helwan metro line at a cost of EGP 2.16bn. The project will commence a year and a half after the contract is signed between the NAT and Rotem.
“Rotem won the contract because it provided the best technical and financial offers at the cheapest price,” said Al-Sherbini. He added that the bid round came within the context of a comprehensive plan to solve Cairo’s crisis of overcrowding in the city’s metro line, at a time when the NAT was also looking to revamp and modernise the Marg-Helwan line.
Al-Shiribni added that a French consulting firm has recently won an international bid, beating several Japanese and German competitors, to conduct a study in order to determine the best and most cost-effective way to modernise the Marg-Helwan line. The firm is expected to present their findings by mid-2013.
Another bid is to be held next month for the right to begin the third stage of development of a new metro line stretching from Ataba through Imbaba and ending in Bulaq Al-Dakrur.
Al-Shiribni stated that 25 consulting firms from eight different countries have expressed their willingness to enter into the bidding process. Implementation at this stage is estimated to take five years. The NAT has already set requirements and conditions for entering the bid, which is scheduled for mid-January 2013.