SNCFT Network Upgrade



Project number:


Business sector:


Notice type:


Environmental category:


Approval date:

13 Dec 2017



PSD disclosed:

22 Sep 2017

Translated version of this PSD: Arabic

Project Description

A loan of up to EUR 160 million for the benefit of Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens ("SNCFT") to finance a network upgrade programme to double and electrify the final section of the Suburban Southern coastal (Sahel) rail line between Moknine and Mahdia, and to upgrade and realign the Western-Southern rail line between Tunis and Kasserine as well as to purchase six Electric Multiple Units ("EMUs").

Project Objectives

Supporting the upgrade and renovation of the railway network in different parts of Tunisia to enhance the network's capacity, performance, reliability and safety.

Transition Impact

The Bank's engagement will entail the introduction of a Corporate Development Programme (CDP) to support SNCFT in its railway restructuring efforts and in adopting and implementing measures to improve its financial sustainability and operational efficiency. The Project will also contribute to lowering carbon emissions by; i) preventing a modal shift to road by creating additional capacity in the railway network to address the expected passenger and freight growth via infrastructure investments and acquisitions of EMU's; ii) shifting traffic from road to rail by optimising journey times; and iii) electrifying parts of the railway network which will directly contribute to energy savings. The planned investment in the signalling equipment will also improve rail safety and optimise operations.

Client Information


EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 160,000,000.00

Total Project Cost

EUR 185,000,000.00

Environmental and Social Summary

Categorised B (ESP 2014). The Project involves the realignment of 5 sections of the existing Line 6 from Tunis to Kasserine (311km), replacement of level crossings by bridges, signalling modernisation, track renovation and other related works, none of which will result in a new corridor.
The Project will also involve the construction of a second track along the existing Line 22 from Moknine to Mahdia (25km), the electrification of the newly doubled line (the existing one is already electrified), replacement of level crossings by bridges, construction of a new 150/25 KV substation, signalling modernisation and other works. The electrification will not require the construction of new transmission lines to connect the rail network to the national grid.

The Project is intended to allow passenger trains to operate between Tunis and Kasserine (currently only commercial trains operate) thus facilitating passenger transport along this section. Additionally, the Project would contribute to considerable improvements of the environmental, social, health and
safety management systems of SNCFT's operations.

A local Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Line 6 has been conducted and approved by the competent authority (January 2017) and procurement is ongoing for the undertaking of an EIA for Line 22.

An independent consultant was retained to supplement the Bank's internal environmental and social due diligence (ESDD) to ensure that the Project is developed in accordance with the Bank's Performance Requirements (2014). Initial findings from the ongoing ESDD indicate that the realignment works along Line 6 (Tunis i Kasserine) will result in minor land acquisition which has been minimised through project design & routing, the scope of which will be outlined in the land acquisition and livelihood restoration framework (LALRF) currently being developed. No land acquisition will be required for Line 22 (Moknine i Mahdia) as land for that purpose has already been acquired by SNCFT in 1987. No major biodiversity impacts have been identified, which is being fully investigated in the ongoing ESDD. Internal and external stakeholder engagement processes will be elaborated in the ESDD through the development of a stakeholder engagement plan (SEP) focusing on engagements and consultation with project affected people and awareness campaigns for train users and those living in close proximity to the railways.

An Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) will be developed and agreed with SNCFT. The PSD will be revised following completion of the ESDD.
Technical Cooperation TC support for this operation will be provided to assist the Company with: (i) the procurement and the implementation of the Project; (ii) the development and implementation of a comprehensive CDP; (iii) the development of network electrification and signalling strategy, and associated
measures to improve safety, operational reliability and interoperability; and (iv) the development of a comprehensive support package to assist in implementation of the required measures under the Environmental and Social Action Plan.

Company Contact Information

M Mohamed Yahya Zribi
+216 71 33 29 96
67 av. Farhat Hached -1001- BP 693- Tunis RP- Tunis

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