Atkins Wins Puerto Rico Aviation Contract
Atkins will play a major role in developing Puerto Rico’s airport infrastructure over the next five years following the award of a contract to serve as an engineering advisor to the island’s port authority.
The award of a general engineering consultant contract by the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA) will see Atkins serve as an architectural, engineering and planning advisor for PRPA airport grant projects throughout the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The company will help PRPA engineers, planners and operations staff plan, design, procure and supervise infrastructure projects.
L Joe Boyer, Atkins’ CEO for North America, said: “We have a long-term professional relationship with the PRPA, having designed and planned projects at nine out of the 10 PRPA-owned airports in Puerto Rico over the last 16 years. The award of this new contract will further strengthen our relationship with the PRPA and enable us to bring a world-class team of experts to its grant projects.”
The PRPA is the governmental agency that develops, operates and oversees all seaports and airports in Puerto Rico. The PRPA first selected Atkins’ Puerto Rico-based business unit, Atkins Caribe, as general engineering consultant in 1997 and since then has selected Atkins multiple times to provide comprehensive airport planning, engineering and construction management services for both commercial and general aviation airports.
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.