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Russian-Hungarian consortium inks giant rail deal in Egypt

Transmashholding Hungary, a Russian-Hungarian consortium, has signed a contract worth more than EUR 1 billion on the delivery of 1,300 passenger carriages to Egyptian National Railways (ENR), Russian rolling stock company Transmashholding said on Tuesday, as reported by Hungarian news agency MTI.

Transmashholding Hungary won the five-year contract in a tender called in 2017, beating out bids by companies from China, Italy, India, and Romania.

The Hungarian member of the consortium will be a manufacturing and financial partner in the project, Transmashholding said. Half of the awarded quantity is expected to be manufactured at the Hungarian base of Dunakeszi Jarműjavító Kft., it added.

The project is supported by the governments of Egypt, Hungary and Russia, Transmashholding noted.

"The parties positively look at the growth of international cooperation and are confident that further improvement of trade and industrial relationships will make a solid platform for even more ambitious projects in future," Transmashholding added.

Chinaʼs Xinhua news agency reported that the Egyptian cabinet described the contract as "the largest deal in the history of the Egyptian railways." It said the signing ceremony was attended by Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Transport Minister Hesham Arafat, as well as the ambassadors of Russia and Hungary.

ENR announced in April a project to renovate the countryʼs old railway system by 2022, at a total cost equivalent to over EUR 2.6 bln, Xinhua recalled, citing the Egyptian railway chief as saying that the deal would contribute to improving the operating efficiency of Egyptʼs railways, especially with its current aging fleet of passenger cars. Most passenger cars in Egyptʼs trains are over 40 years old, the ENR chief added, with frequent breakdowns and high costs of operation and maintenance.