French company Alstom has signed a memorandum of understanding with Iraq to build a suspended metro line in Baghdad and two lines in southern Basra. The agreements were signed during the meeting of the Council of Iraqi-French Affairs, in the presence of the French Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Limoin and 23 French companies. The project aims to reduce the traffic crisis in Baghdad and Basra.
The French company Alstom Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with Iraq, through which to build a suspended metro line in Baghdad and two lines in Basra in the south of the country. The two cities are experiencing daily traffic jams.
“In the next five years, a 20-kilometer-long metro will be built in Baghdad,” said Mark Grost, director of the company in Iraq. “The equipment will be provided to carry out the railways and engineering works that will be launched from Mustansiriya (east) to the old Muthanna airport” in western Baghdad.
The cost of this work is expected to be between $ 2.1 billion and $ 2.5 billion, ensuring the connection of the two sides of Baghdad through the Sarafiya bridge in 2023.
With the continued import of cars since 2003, the country is experiencing severe traffic crises, especially during daylight hours.
In Basrah, the largest city in the south of the country, there is a study to develop a two-line project, each 15 kilometers long.
The lines will extend from north to south of the city, from Zubayr to Shatt al-Arab and from Karma in the east of Basra to desert areas on the western side.
Grost confirmed that the company is preparing a feasibility study in Basra that will end in 12 months.
“This is an important step for Iraq, Alstom and people because the traffic in these cities is unbearable.”
The agreements were signed during the meeting of the Council of Iraqi-French Affairs in the presence of the French Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Limoin and 23 French companies.
The French minister said that his country represents only 1.2 percent of the Iraqi market, and that this first step would be “to return to the level of trade that was before the year 2014, since then decreased trade exchange by 61 percent.”
Iraq is now in a period of stability and reconstruction, and we have our capabilities that provide answers to the reconstruction needs of this country, “he said, referring to the energy, transport, infrastructure, agriculture and health sectors.
The French minister also pointed out that his country had proposed to Iraq to develop a “data center” to develop the Iraqi administration.
For his part, said the Chairman of the Iraqi Investment Commission Sami Araji, “We want French companies to play a role in the reconstruction of Iraq because it is excellent in various fields.”