Chairman of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) Jens Meier will visit Egyptian ports next month to discuss possible cooperation between Egypt and Germany, according to a Ministry of Transportation consultant.
The head of the HPA expressed his desire to participate in managing and improving service levels at Egyptian ports, according to Mahmoud Allam, the consultant to the minister of transport for international cooperation.
The ministry has prepared a list of projects to present to investors in the coming period, as well as another list of urgent projects at a cost of EGP 200bn, which will be completed within four years. These projects were presented to many foreign investors, but the ministry has not yet received actual offers for their implementation, Allam told Daily News Egypt.
The consultant said the ministry is still in negotiations with China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC) to implement a multi-purpose quay for the port of Alexandria, according to an agreement that was signed at the Egypt Economic Development Conference in March 2015.
The ministry is also still negotiating with PSA Singapore regarding their participation in managing and operating the port of Alexandria, according to a previously-signed agreement. The ministry is currently considering the possibility of expanding to include all Egyptian ports after evaluating the Port of Alexandria’s experience, Allam said.
The PSA is interested in Egyptian ports and is scheduled to set a vision to develop Egyptian ports and put it on global competition map, he said.
Cooperation with the PSA aims to reduce spending on Egyptian port management, especially the port of Alexandria, which could be managed by just 500 workers, whereas the number of workers there currently is more than 4,000, according to Allam.
During their recent visit to Egypt, PSA officials visited the Suez Canal Authority to discuss cooperation in the six ports added to the jurisdiction of the economic commission for the Suez Canal Area. These are the Ain Sokhna Port, El Tur Port, Adabiya Port, East Port Said Port, West Port Said Port, and Al-Arish Port.
This is amid the Egyptian state’s efforts to turn the Gulf of Suez into a regional and international transport and logistics hub, through which the state can leverage the transit fees gathered from ships passing through the Suez Canal.
The launch of the New Suez Canal in August 2015 succeeded in cutting down the waiting time for ships passing through it by approximately from between eight and 11 hours to just three, in a bid to attract more ships to pass through the canal. However, some experts have called into question the viability of the larger project, in light of the declining in international growth rates.