By Caribbean News Global
LONDON, England – A consortium led by Bombardier Transportation has confirmed a deal with the Egyptian government to build two new monorails with £1.7 billion from UK Export Finance (UKEF), the largest amount of financing it has ever provided for an overseas infrastructure project.
International trade secretary Liz Truss announced the government guarantee, which will support highly skilled jobs in Derbyshire as the UK builds back better in the aftermath of coronavirus.
“Trade is an incredibly powerful way to propel growth and create jobs as we recover from the pandemic. This deal shows why we are so determined to get businesses to grasp these opportunities and take advantage of the support available from government. One-third of our economy is exports. That’s why support from our export credit agency is vital. It can help the UK get a bigger slice of the global economic pie, secure jobs across the country and make the most of our newfound independence as a trading nation,” international trade secretary Truss said.
Bombardier’s consortium was named preferred bidder for the project at the 2020 UK-Africa Investment Summit and, with UKEF’s guarantee, has secured the financing needed to fulfil the contract and start production. Bombardier can now invest in its manufacturing centre in Derby where the trains for the Egyptian monorails will be designed and built.
This will be the UK’s only monorail car production line and will directly support 100 UK jobs at the company and many more in its UK supply chain.
Matt Byrne, president of Bombardier Transportation (UK and Ireland), said: “The Cairo Monorail export win, against international competition, shows that that the UK rail sector can fight and win in key growth markets such as sustainable transport. This is the first UK export since our Derby-built trains were exported to South Africa for the Gautrain project in 2008.
“Thanks to UKEF’s support and those working in Embassies across North Africa, this new deal will bring sustainable benefits to Egypt and create job opportunities in the UK.”
This news comes as the UK hosts the Africa Investment Conference January 20, 2021, its first major international investment conference as an independent trading nation. The UK-Africa trade relationship was valued at £35 billion in 2019, with around £54 billion of bilateral investment stock on top of that. The UK is by far the biggest foreign direct investor in Egypt and continues to aspire to be its trade and investment partner of choice, and UKEF will play a key role in this shared vision for growth.
John Meakin, Global Head of Export & Agency Finance at J.P. Morgan, commented: “The financing came together at the height of the pandemic, which would not have been possible without the commitment of all parties involved, including strong support from the lawyers. The project is of significant national importance to Egypt, and we are honoured to have been selected by NAT and the government of Egypt to deliver this UKEF-backed financing, which will enable this major project to become a reality.”