Consortium leader POMA and Egis have been tasked with a cable transportation project for the city of Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. The project is financed by the French Directorate General of the Treasury in the aim of developing mobility in urban environments.
A growing city with substantial urban obstacles
Mongolia’s political and economic capital Ulaanbaatar has experienced rapid population growth due to an influx of nomadic people arriving from the steppe since the early 1990s. This has resulted in Ulaanbaatar having nearly 1.5 million inhabitants, accounting for nearly half of the country’s population, compared with 580,000 in 1990. The transition to a market economy since the 1990s and a succession of harsh winters precipitated the exodus of these low-income households to the edges of Ulaanbaatar. These suburbs have become commonly known as “Ger districts” due to the multitude of traditional yurts to be found there, known as gers in Mongolia.
These Ger districts house 60% of the capital’s inhabitants and cover 90% of its administrative surface area. Until recent times, these settlements had been considered temporary and did not benefit from any urban development programmes or public investment. Today, offering these districts an access to Ulaanbaatar city centre has become one of Ulaanbaatar city hall’s leading priorities.
Cable transport, the ideal transport solution
In a city featuring major obstacles (notably, the Tuul-Gol river and the Trans-Mongolian Railway), and with a relatively undeveloped transport network, this urban cable car system emerges as the most appropriate solution. With its silent, all-electric and low energy operation, ropeway transport is today an acknowledged and sustainable urban transport mode, capable of addressing specific problems of cities and with the added benefit of being quicker to implement than other forms of transport infrastructure.
The French Directorate General of the Treasury (DG Trésor), which supports French firms in the delivery of structurally transformational, eco-friendly and sustainable projects, therefore decided to finance this urban mobility project developed by the company POMA with the support of Egis, for the benefit of Ulaanbaatar city council. A financial protocol was signed in May 2020 followed by commercial agreements in June 2020.
The line extending 6 km will have 3 stations, with 122 cable cars running between the Ger districts north of the city and the city centre. This corridor is in full alignment with the development programmes currently underway, as this Ger district was targeted as a priority for the redevelopment and densification programme financed by the ADB (Asian Development Bank).
Additional assignments for both companies
Et POMA, the leader of the consortium behind the project, will be tasked with the supply and installation of the transport systems including all the vehicles, towers, and equipment of the 3 stations.
Egis will be responsible for the design and construction of the stations and their foundations under a turnkey arrangement. The low and high voltage power also fall within Egis’ assignments. Finally, Egis will be tasked with coordination and combined drawings during design phase and with works supervision during construction.
POMA and Egis: a solid alliance
This new transport project is the fourth joint collaboration for POMA and Egis. It demonstrates their shared motivation for the development of this ecological and cost efficient mode of transport, and the complementary strengths of two French industries: a manufacturer and an engineering firm working in concert on domestic projects such as the Grenoble cable car project, but also worldwide.