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Egypt expands port, to tender new terminal in 2010
Published in Daily News Egypt on 01 - 11 - 2009

CAIRO: Egypt will issue a tender in 2010 to build a third container terminal at East Port Said on the Mediterranean to help attract over $5 billion in investment in port and related services by 2030, the Transport Ministry said.
Egypt, which controls the vital Suez Canal trade route, is seeking to boost infrastructure investment to push annual economic growth back above 7 percent in the next two years, matching the level it reached before the world economic crisis.
East Port Said has one terminal operating now, handling 2.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2008, roughly 40 percent of Egypt s total container traffic of 6.08 million TEUs. Alongside East Port Said, Egypt has three other main ports.
East Port Said s second container terminal is being built.
The Transport Ministry said in a statement that the third terminal was part of a plan to boost East Port Said s container capacity to 8 and 13 million TEUs by 2030.
The statement added that results of a tender to build and operate a liquid bulk terminal, worth LE 1.6 billion, would be announced by the end of 2009.
I think we will be the first (in the Mediterranean) within the next two to three years in terms of container traffic, Transport Minister Mohamed Mansour told Reuters, speaking shortly before he resigned last week.
The increase in transport and spending in infrastructure is definitely key to the continued sustainable growth in the country, said Mansour, who added that the third container terminal tender would be issued in 2010.
The ministry said in its statement the government aimed to draw in LE 30 billion by 2030 from local and foreign investors in port and related services.
East Port Said s location at the northern entrance to the Suez Canal means it can operate as a transshipment hub for vessels heading to Europe, Africa or Asia.
Marc Pauchet, shipping analyst at London s Maritime Strategies International (MSI), told Reuters that East Port Said s position meant vessels did not need to deviate from a major shipping route, giving it an advantage over rival ports.
MSI projects trade in Western Europe, which includes the western Mediterranean and northern Europe, would grow by 5 percent in 2010 and 6 percent in 2011, he said, adding trade growth in the whole Mediterranean would be similar.
He said East Port Said had to be efficient and cut costs to compete with Mediterranean ports like Spain s Algeciras and Malta.
Egypt s container traffic increased to 6.08 million TEUs in 2008 from 5.07 million TEUs in 2007, Egypt s Maritime Research and Consultation Center (MRCC) said.
East Port Said s private operator, the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), which began work in 2004, saw throughput rise 14.3 percent to 2.4 million TEUs in 2008 over 2007, MRCC said.
Mansour said Suez Canal Container Terminal was doubling its quay wall length to 2,400 meters over 18 months to build a second container terminal. He said East Port Said now covered an area of 35 sq km and that would rise to 57 sq km by 2030.
Mashreq Petroleum won a concession in 2007 to operate a 210,000 sq meter bunkering terminal in East Port Said. The first phase cost was $120 million with operations starting by mid-2011, the firm s executive president, Tamer Abubakr, said.


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