Egypt signs $1.24 bln light rail deal with AVIC, China Railway Group -Xinhua

SHANGHAI, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Two Chinese state companies have signed a $1.24 billion deal with Egypt to build a light rail system around Cairo, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

Under the agreement signed with Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels (NAT), China’s AVIC international and China Railway Group will build a 66-km network with 11 stations, on which trains will run at speed of up to 120 kilometres per hour to Cairo’s surrounding districts, it said.

Xinhua, citing NAT chief Tarek Gamal El-Din, said the project would start within two or three months and would be able to carry 340,000 passengers daily once completed.

Egypt is a key partner for China in its “Belt and Road” initiative that aims to build transport and trade links between Europe and Asia. Chinese state firms, as a result, have been aggressively chasing projects abroad. (Reporting by SHANGHAI Newsroom and Brenda Goh; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)