New road and rail causeway will be built, linking Saudi Arabia and Bahrain
Costing $5 billion to construct, the new road and rail causeway will reduce congestion on the King Fahd causeway and provide long-term advantages to commuters
With negotiations occurring over the last year, the new road and rail causeway is set to be underway, connecting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Studies were carried out at the end of the last year to ensure the safety and feasibility of the construction workers, of which will be funded through a private public partnership model (PPP), costing around $5 billion.
The new causeway will sit beside the existing causeway and reduce congestion through the two regions, and will be utilised by both freight trains and vehicles.
Named the King Hamad Causeway, the project will take approximately four years, and has been warmly received by both locals and businesses, who believe the new causeway will provide an economic boost and provide relief to increased volumes of traffic. It is expected that by 2030, the volume of traffic will have doubled, highlighting the need for the new causeway to be constructed, connecting the two regions.
Additionally, a new 70km railway will link a passenger terminal in Salmabad and freight facilities in Bahrain with the Saudi railway, according to Reuters, improving both trade and commuter transportation.
Original source: Construction Week Online
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”.