The Alexandria Port Authority (APA) has completed the preparation of a list of projects expected to be implemented during the next fiscal year (FY).
APA chairperson admiral Medhat Atia said that the authority has completed preparing the prospectus for implementing the dry bulk terminal that is set to be offered through an international tender within one month.
He added that the APA is waiting for the approval of the cabinet to implement a multi-purpose garage project that will be self-financed with EGP 300m from the APA budget. He noted that the project is important, as the port receives some 350,000 cars per year but lacks space to store these cars.
The APA will also sign a contract for a multi-purpose terminal on the 55th berth in the Alexandria port on an area of 500,000 square metres, he pointed out. The lengths of berths amount to 1,800 meters, with a depth of 17 metres. The project will be implemented with the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).
Atia noted that the authority has responded to the comments of the cabinet regarding the contracts, as it will present the agreement to the cabinet after completing it with the Chinese company, in order to obtain its approval prior to signing the final agreement.
The multi-purpose terminal project will include several activities, such as container and general cargo handling, and cost about $700m. The cost will be provided by a facilitated Chinese loan that secures 85% of the cost. The Chinese company will provide the remaining 15% in the form of an interest-free loan. The loan is limited to implementing the project, which will remain owned by the APA and operated by a joint company between both parties.
In a related context, Mohamed El-Dakak, vice president of the APA, told Al Borsa that the APA is preparing to offer a tender for the second phase of the project to deepen the berth in April, adding that the APA will cooperate with El Nasr Company for Buildings and Construction (Egyco) to implement part of the project, while the remaining part will be offered in a public tender.
The first phase of deepening the berths aimed at reaching depths ranging between 14 to 15 metres.
El-Dakak noted that the project aims to restore the original depths—not add more—as most of the berths have been exposed to a build-up of clay over the past years.
He pointed out that the APA is preparing a comprehensive plan for the development of the old berths in the port of Alexandria. The most important feature of the plan is the study of the berths themselves, noting that the plan aims to revive the Alexandria port, which has not been upgraded for the past 40 years, since the establishment of the Daqahleya port that has attracted most modern ships, leaving ships under 80,000 tonnes for the Alexandria port.
El-Dakak said that some of the old berths will be reallocated for other activities.
He added that Egyco has completed 20% of berth 85, which is to be build as a berth for the trade of general goods, at a total cost of EGP 500m. He expected the project will be completed within 18 months, noting that it will raise the capacity of the port by 5 million tonnes.
Moreover, El-Dakak said that the APA has almost reached a final agreement with Medtab—of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC)—to implement the liquid bulk terminal, which will increase the port’s capacity of handling liquid bulk by 3 million tonnes.
He added that the authority is preparing to inaugurate a number of projects linking the port to highways, including the road to the Daqahleya port. The first phase of this project will be inaugurated to link the International Coast Road to Umm Zaghio Road. The second phase will reach the Daqahleya port and is expected to be opened in November. This is in addition to implementing the Al Wardian bridge that aims to move the traffic of trucks away from Agamy Road. El-Dakak pointed out that all these projects are financed by the APA itself.
Decision No. 800 for the year 2016 by the Minister of Transportation, which organises the maritime transport activities, came as a necessity due to the recent economic changes and the flotation of the pound, he asserted, noting that the trading volume of the Alexandria Port Authority was not affected by the resolution, compared to the indicators during the same period last year.
Additionally, El-Dakak said that the flotation of the pound raised the revenues of the APA in the current fiscal year, especially its dollar resources. He noted that revenues have so far exceeded EGP 3bn.
The operational capacity of the container berth in Alexandria port reached 70%, he pointed out, while the storage capacity reached 100%; therefore, several spaces to increase the capacity will be allocated through re-planning.
He explained that the delay in the implementation of the non-clean bulk project is due to the awarding company retaining the monopoly of trading non-clean bulk, adding that the prospectus was not clear on that matter.
He stressed that the company has reached a consensus formulation that is currently being drafted in order to reach a compromise to implement the project. The draft will be reviewed soon so that the project can be implemented as soon as possible.
Furthermore, the APA is working to establish a terminal handling company. El-Dakak said that the company will include international entities working in that field. This project’s feasibility studies will be completed in May.
El-Dakak added that the practice of any activity inside the port of Alexandria is an inherent right of the port authorities, but it gives the companies the right to practice these activities on its behalf. He noted that some companies violate the conditions, such as shipping agencies that impose excessive fees. He urged for the need to impose supervision over the public companies in the port in order to create a balance and prevent any potential violations.
The new company that will be established under the APA will aim to balance the situation and prevent companies from imposing excessive fees, he stated.
He noted that the APA will establish a company to manage the container terminal, adding that the APA is also studying the establishment of a logistics company. The APA is cooperating with CIB Bank to prepare studies for the companies’ establishment.