A five-year project for French engineering group Alstom to build an above-ground urban metro line in Baghdad will cost $1.5 billion [1.8 trillion Iraqi dinars] and be funded by the French government and banks, according to Reuters.
The planned line will have capacity to carry 30,000 passengers an hour, will have 22 km (13 miles) of track and 14 stations linking northern Baghdad districts with the city centre, the Baghdad provincial governor's office said.
France's Alstom signed a memorandum of understanding for the deal in January, while a follow-up agreement signed in Baghdad on Monday paved the way for French financing for the project.
"The company has obtained agreement from several French banks and the French government to implement this project," Shaker al-Zamili, head of the Baghdad Investment Commission, told Reuters.
A final accord on the Baghdad metro project would have to be approved by the Iraqi cabinet, he added. The loan would be repaid by Iraq after the railway started operating, through a mechanism yet to be determined.
As we reported in June of last year, Iraq’s southern city of Najaf awarded privately-owned Canadian consortium TransGlobim International a $600 million contract to build the country’s first monorail.