Transport Scotland Awards A9 Dualling Design Contract to Jacobs Engineering
Transport Scotland has awarded the second of three large design contracts for the A9 dualling programme, worth between £40 million and £60 million, to Jacobs Engineering.
The company will dual the 32-mile stretch of the A9 between the Pass of Birnam and Glen Garry, starting work in September on the section of the route nearest to Perth.
This new contract follows the first, awarded in May to a CH2MHill and Fairhurst joint venture, for the 27-mile stretch between Glengarry and Dalraddy.
The third and final design contract to dual the A9 between Dalraddy and Inverness is expected to be awarded by the end of this year.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “This second major contract is another step forward for this mammoth project, and underlines our determination to bring forward benefits to road users as soon as we can.
“This multi-million pound investment also complements other work being progressed on the ground to improve the safety and performance of the A9, with the installation of average speed cameras for implementation this October and ground investigation work is also progressing well on the Kincraig-Dalraddy scheme, which we expect to begin construction in 2015/16.
“Make no mistake, the Scottish Government wants to see improvements delivered as soon as possible and we are doing everything possible to bring forward elements of the scheme. We remain on track to deliver half of the 80 miles of new upgraded road by 2022, with completion expected by 2025.”
The entire dualling scheme for 80 miles of road between Perth and Inverness will cost £3 billion, and is expected to be delivered by 2025.
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”.