Egypt establishes big new rail company to localise production of locomotives

The Suez Canal Economic Zone and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt signed on Tuesday an agreement to establish new rail company, named the National Egyptian Company for Railroad Industries (NERIC).

The new company will be specialised in localising the production and refurbing of locomotives in Egypt to meet the country’s demand and increase its exports.

It is expected to invest $10 billion over the next few years, said Egypt’s Minister of Planning Hala al-Saeed.

Al-Saeed and Minister of Transport, Kamel El-Wazir witnessed the signing ceremony in East Port Said on the sidelines of the third edition of the Smart Transportation and Logistics Fair and Forum for the Middle East and Africa (Trans MEA 2020).

The agreement was signed with several private sector companies, including Samcrete Investments Holding, Hassan Allam Holding, Orascom Construction, and Connect Information Technology. Orascom will have a 15 percent share in the new company.

One of the new company’s investments will be a 2.2 billion Egyptian pound ($140.2 million) facility that will house three lines. One is designed to upgrade rail engines, the second is to produce metro cars, while the third is to produce high-speed, long-distance railcars, NERIC chairman Ahmed Fekry told reporters.

The production lines will have a capacity of 150,000 pieces of rolling stock per year. The planned investment is part of a plan to modernise Egypt’s ailing railway network and kickstart rail exports to other countries in the region, Fekry said.