Apartment buildings line the Ring Road, a freeway that loops around Cairo Image Credit: NYT

Montreal: Canadian manufacturing group Bombardier announced on Monday it had signed a multi-billion dollar agreement to build two automated monorail lines in Egypt’s notoriously congested capital Cairo.

The $4.5 billion (Dh16.5 billion) agreement, which was signed with Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels, is subject to “final signatures of supplementary documents,” Bombadier and its Egyptian partners Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors said in a joint statement.

The monorails, which will be able to transport 45,000 passengers per-hour in either direction, “will dramatically improve the quality of life for millions of residents by significantly reducing their daily commuting time,” said Danny Di Perna, president of the company’s railway division Bombardier Transportation.

He noted the monorails will also reduce traffic congestion in the city that’s home to more than 20 million people.

The three companies will be responsible for the construction, development and maintenance of the new monorail lines for 30 years, according to the statement.

The first line will run 54 kilometres from east Cairo to the new administrative capital being built in the desert. The second line, which will run for 42 kilometres, will connect 6th October City to Giza.

Bombardier Transportation, which will build the system’s 70 four-car Innovia Monorail 300 trains, has a $2.85 billion share in the project, and Orascom has a $900 million share, the statement said.

The Innovia Monorail 300 trains are already in use in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and set to be deployed in similar projects in Bangkok, Thailand and Wuhu, China.

Bombardier’s stock plummeted on Thursday after higher-than-expected losses in the second quarter and, for the second time in three months, a downward revision of earnings guidance for 2019.