Egypt to tender for 4 Nile river ports in 2010
Cairo, October 15, 2009
Egypt plans to tender for four Nile river cargo ports in 2010, and will announce the results of existing tenders to build two more ports by the end of this year, Transport Ministry officials said on Thursday.
'The plan was to tender for six ports. Then we started with two and the rest will be tendered for in 2010,' one source in the ministry told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity because there was no authorisation to speak to the press.
Another Transport Ministry official, Alaa El Ghadban, said the four new tenders were for ports in northern and southern Egypt. The two existing tenders were for ports in the northern Mediterranean city of Alexandria and in Qena in central Egypt.
'We want to create hubs to transport cargo from Alexandria to upper Egypt via river transport to avoid road accidents,' said Ghadban, the ministry's investment consultant.
'Currently, 98 per cent of all cargo in Egypt is transported via roads ... Our aim is to transport 20 per cent of total cargo in Egypt through the Nile river and railroads within the next four or five years,' he added.
Ghadban said concession holders for the ports would have to be majority Egyptian, but that Egypt was also looking for foreign expertise. The ports would be built on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis, he said.
Egyptian Transport Minister Mohamed Mansour said last year that Egypt expected an extra $8.9 billion in private investment in transport, including ports and roads, over three years.
Mansour had said at the time that Egypt would tender for seven road projects and would develop East Said port on the Mediterranean coast, inviting local and foreign investors.-Reuters