French ambassador to Egypt Stéphane Romatet - File Photo
CAIRO – 24 May 2018: French Ambassador in Cairo Stéphane Romatet praised the launch of the giant driller “Nefertari” on the third line of Cairo’s metro on Wednesday in a tweet he published with pictures of the new machine.
Around 60 percent of the cost of the new driller (estimated at €900 million) is financed by the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), while the rest of the cost will be secured from the general budget of the state.
“The launch of the third line digger of Cairo metro yesterday is amazing. It is a pioneer project and a strong sign for the Egyptian-French cooperation for nearly 30 years,” read a tweet by Ambassador Romatet on Thursday.
The French ambassador published a picture from the launch of the new driller at the construction site of the third line of Cairo metro. The driller will be used in digging works of six stations of line 3.
The French ambassador attended the launch ceremony of the driller on Wednesday, along with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and a number of top government officials including: Minister of Transport Hisham Arafat, Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Local Development Abu Bakr el-Gindy, Cairo Governor Atef Abdel Hamid, and former ministers of transport Galal Saeed, Hany Dahy and Alaa Fahmy.
Representatives of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) were also present at the ceremony.
The third phase of the third metro line will connect the working-class districts of Attaba, Bulaq and Imbaba with Cairo University in Giza. The phase will also pass through well-off neighborhoods like Zamalek, Mohandiseen and Agouza. The construction on the 18-kilometer phase officially started in 2017; it includes 15 stops, including Zamalek.
Earlier this month, the government decided to increase the metro fare for the second time, triggering anger among citizens who are currently suffering from the dramatic surge in prices following the 2016 flotation of the Egyptian pound. Following the decision, the metro sector announced expanding metro lines and purchasing new air-conditioned metro carriages. At least two lawsuits were filed against the increase, demanding the government backtrack on its decision.