AMMAN, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund (SJIF) and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a railway in Jordan.
The railway will connect Aqaba's seaports to a dry port that will be constructed in Ma'an governorate, forming the first phase of Jordan's national railway network, according to a joint statement obtained by Xinhua on Sunday.
The project worth 500 million dinars (about 700 million U.S. dollars) contains constructing a new railway line inside the city of Aqaba connecting the southern seaport and container terminal with the existing line.
It aims to renovate the existing railway line connecting the city of Aqaba to Ma'an, procuring new rolling stock, wagons, and other equipment, and constructing a dry port in Ma'an on four million square meters of land.
Upon completion, the railway will operate along a 195-kilometer rail track, transporting cargo containers from and to Aqaba as well as phosphate from the mines in Shidiya to Aqaba for export.
The project is a major Public Private Partnership aimed at enhancing Jordan's logistics offering through providing more efficient transportation solutions and supporting growth and job creation in the local communities in Aqaba and Ma'an.
The Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund is a Jordanian Limited Public Shareholding Company formed in 2017 as a partnership between the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which owns 90% of the company, and 16 conventional and Islamic Jordanian banks, which own the remaining 10%.