Egypt has lined up nearly 80 projects in the transportation sector, covering port development, container terminals, cruise berths, marine passenger terminals, multimodal transport, river ports and metro, offering investment opportunities to the private sector, according to minister of transport Kamel El-Wazir.

These projects, under construction or in the planning stages, are estimated to cost about 129 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.6 billion).

“Almost 60 per cent of the loans borrowed by Egypt during the past three years were directed to the transportation sector,” the minister said at an event on Monday.

The minister said Egypt will soon sign agreements with UAE’s Abu Dhabi Ports Group to manage and operate Safaga Terminal 2 in Safaga Port, and with Qatar’s Al Maha Capital Company to participate in the management and operation of container terminals in Port Said and Damietta ports.

Participating in the private sector partnership opportunities session, the minister said the government is looking at amending existing laws to attract more private sector investment in the transportation sector.

He reviewed policies and projects that have been under way, their implementation progress, investment and partnership opportunities for the private sector in various transportation sub-sectors.

“The ministry of transport is discussing the amendment of the River Transport Authority Law,” he said.

Ports, and related projects

The minister listed various opportunities for private sector participation in the ports sector as follows:

  • Management and operation of the El-Dekheila Port which also includes extension of the port to 1,150 metres, and further development to increase capacity to receive four vessels with a length of 240 metres and 6-7 tonne capacity.
  • Management and operation of a logistics area in Alexandria Port. The project aims to create commercial service areas in Alexandria and build a customs port on an area of ​​273 acres as first stage equipped with river ports and a railway network to enable an integrated multimodal system.
  • Management and operation of El-Max port, which is located between Alexandra and El-Dekheila ports. The port includes seven quays with total length 3.5 kilometres (km) and storage area spanning 3.5 square km.
  • Management and operation of Sokhna port. With a total length of 15.4 km, the port includes a container berth 2,634 metres long, a trading yard with an area of ​​4.93 million square metres (sqm), a general cargo berth with a length of 7,027 metres, and handling yard with an area of ​​2.9 million sqm, a berth for flammable chemical goods with a length of 1,400 metres, and yards admeasuring ​​630,000 sqm. In March, UAE-based AD Ports Group had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Egyptian Group for Multipurpose Terminals, the commercial arm of the Ministry of Transportation, to jointly oversee the development and operation of Ain Sokhna Port.

“We are developing the cruise port – 15 metre deep and 570 metre long - in Sharm El-Sheikh to receive 4,000 passengers,” El-Wazir said and added that the ministry’s plan includes management and operation of the marine passenger terminal and cruise berth in Hurghada port.

Another contract in the pipeline, he continued, is the management and operation of a multi-purpose project comprising of a yacht marina and a real estate development, located behind the west wave barrier in the Damietta Port.  Arab Contractors and Hassan Allam are planning to start work on the project by July 2023.

Railway projects

In the field of railway transport, El-Wazir said the operation and maintenance (O&M) of Line 4 and 6 of Cairo Metro will be contracted to the private sector. He said the O&M contracts for Line 3 of Cairo Metro, and of 10th of Ramadan - New Administrative Capital city electric train (LRT) have been awarded to the French company RATP Dev for a period of 15 years, while French rail transport company Alstom has been awarded a 30-year O&M contract for the Cairo Monorail project.

He confirmed that Austria’s voestalpine Railway Systems will establish a joint venture with Egyptian National Railways (ENR) for the joint production of high-performance turnouts in Abbassia, Cairo.

(1 US Dollar = 19.70 Egyptian Pounds)

(Reporting by Marwa Abo Almajd; Editing by Bhaskar Raj & Anoop Menon)