China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation lands $6.68bn Nigeria rail project
The state-owned construct...
Nigeria has awarded China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) a massive rail building contract worth $6.68bn.
The state-owned construction giant will develop a key section of the ongoing network being built between Lagos, in the southwest of country, and Kano, in the far north.
The line is likely to be around 1,000km in length given the direct distance between the two cities is 835km.
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According to the Nigerian transport ministry, this contract award “concludes all outstanding segments of the Lagos-Kano rail line”.
The project, which has been under construction since 2006, has been heavily backed by Chinese investment.
According to Reuters, China Exim bank signed off a loan worth $1.23bn to finance Nigeria’s rail network modernisation.
This is also not the first involvement in Nigerian rail for CCECC. In 2016 the company received a contract for a segment between Kano and Kaduna, also in the north, worth around $1.69bn.
CCECC has been carrying out major infrastructure work in China and around the world since it was established by the Chinese government in 1979. It has worked in more than 50 countries spanning Asia, Africa, America, Europe and Australasia, completing projects covering railways, highways, and municipal buildings, among other builds.
Nigeria’s various ongoing rail upgrade projects are said to carry a combined value of $46bn. The country has 3,500km of track in place, the vast majority of which built prior to independence from the British Empire in 1960.
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”.