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JICA signs ODA loan for Cairo metro line
Japanese systems and trains will be used for the project
Michael Marray 4 Jan 2023

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a loan agreement with the Egyptian government to provide a Japanese official development assistance (ODA) loan of up to 41 billion yen (US$312 million) for the Greater Cairo Metro Line No. 4 Phase 1 Project II.

The Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) scheme will apply to the ODA loan for this project, and Japanese systems and trains will be used for the metro line being constructed under the project. STEP refers to special assistance terms for promoting the visibility of Japanese aid through a transfer of Japanese technology and expertise to developing nations. The main contract is Japan-tied, while subcontracting is generally untied.

A continuation of Greater Cairo Metro Line No. 4 Phase 1, the new project involves building a 19-kilometre metro line extension in the southwest of Greater Cairo and in the city centre.

According to JICA, the project will contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 11 (sustainable cities and communication), and 13 (climate action).

The main STEP agreement partner must generally be a Japanese company, an overseas subsidiary of a Japanese company, or a joint venture between a Japanese company and the borrowing country where the Japanese company is the lead partner, although under certain conditions a joint venture between a Japanese company (which is the lead partner of the joint venture) and an affiliated company (as accounted under the equity method) of a Japanese company may be the main agreement partner.

The loan agreement was signed in Cairo on December 26. The borrower is the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The executing agency is the National Authority for Tunnels, which aims to complete the project by February 2028 under its implementation schedule. JICA says it is considering cooperation and sharing of roles with other donors.

The Greater Cairo Region has a population of around 19 million, and suffers from chronic traffic congestion due to population growth and an increase in car usage.

The existing 44-kilometre Cairo Metro Line 1 was opened in phases between 1987 and 2002. It received support from Agence Francaise de Developpement, European Investment Bank, and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The construction of the 22-kilometre Cairo Metro Line 2, which opened in phases between 1996 and 2005, was funded by the Egyptian government.

Financial support for the construction of the 41.2-kilometre Cairo Metro Line 3 was provided by AFD, the European Union and EIB, with technical assistance provided by the EU. The first two phases were opened in 2012 and 2014. Phases 3 and 4 are still under construction, and scheduled to open in 2024.

The latest Line 4 metro extension will include 19 kilometres of tunnels and 12 metro station buildings.

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