EBRD is considering a sovereign loan of up to EUR 126 million to the Arab Republic of Egypt, to be on-lent to Egyptian National Railways (“ENR”).
The project is expected to substantially improve the quality of train services between Cairo and Alexandria by providing new, energy-efficient rolling stock to replace the existing ageing stock. This upgrade will provide over 2 million passenger kilometres of train services per day, and will contribute to the Bank’s Sustainable Energy Initiative through both the move to new energy efficient rolling stock and through the introduction of an Energy Efficiency Action Plan.
The project envisages the purchase of new rolling stock (six new units – each comprising 10 carriages plus locomotive traction.) This investment will replace the current rolling stock as part of a much-needed modernisation of ENR’s fleet and will aim to reduce overcrowding on the Cairo-Alexandria route.
Given the complex operating environment in Egypt, the Bank has coordinated closely on the project’s reform aspects with the World Bank and with managers from Italian Railways who have been seconded to ENR under a long term programme to support in reform implementation.
The project will support ENR’s transformation into a more efficient and transparent operator and will contribute to the improvements of safety standards to the services provided to its users through the following elements which are anticipated to be introduced:
(i) rolling stock renewal replacing outdated existing fleet (with benefits for safety, operating costs and energy efficiency);
(ii) increasing the role of private sector service providers in support of ENR’s operations through implementing the outsourcing of maintenance of the new vehicles to the private sector through a ‘Supply and Maintain’ contract;
(iii) developing an Energy Efficiency Action Plan in order to improve ENR’s practices on fuel usage;
(iv) introduction of a comprehensive ESAP; and (v) strengthening transparency of ENR’s operations and corporate governance performance through a Corporate Governance Plan and annual preparation of a Business Plan.
The project also envisages technical assistance support to ENR to improve its services to better take account of higher security for all travellers but also to better address the needs of women travellers in the design, delivery and management of train operations through a gender-informed safety and security assessment.
Proposed technical assistance will support a range of activities to address key issues, anticipated to include
(i) understanding how different individuals experience safety and security while using railway transport in Egypt (including women’s specific needs);
(ii) researching international best practices on mechanisms to improve family safety in railway transport; and
(iii) developing customized operational recommendations to improve railway transport safety for families in Egypt, potentially including some tailored training.
More info at http://www.ebrd.com/pages/project/psd/2014/45284.shtml