Egypt was the third biggest market for contract awards in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2016, according to MEED’s latest research report Outlook Egypt 2017.
This was despite security problems and a currency crisis that contributed to a 23% drop in the total value of deals agreed on in the North African country in 2016.
Analysis of data from MEED projects shows Egypt signed $18.4bn worth of contracts during the year, moving ahead of Qatar and Kuwait to become the third most active market in the region.
The UAE was the largest, with more than $40bn of deals awarded, followed by Saudi Arabia with just over $25bn.
In both 2014 and 2015, Egypt was the fifth largest market for awards.
The report finds that while other governments in the region are looking to rein in capital spending in the wake of the collapse in oil prices, Egypt is keen to push ahead with its development programme.
The largest contracts signed in Egypt last year were for the development of the Zohr field (which was only discovered in August 2015), the Dairut independent power project, and further packages on the long-running Cairo Metro scheme.
The country has a market of active projects worth $395.7bn. This includes $145.7bn of schemes under execution, $148.5bn under study, $15.8bn at the main contract bid stage, $12.6bn at bid evaluation, $3.2bn at per-qualification, and $70bn in design.
Analysing just the projects in the execution phase, the biggest future sector is construction, with $129.4bn of schemes in the pipeline. The next biggest sectors are power, with $117.4bn, and transport, with $57.4bn.
The report added that “following the procurement of an emergency power generation programme, installed capacity is currently able to satisfy demand for electricity. As such, the Ministry of Electricity announced in March 2017 it would no longer be directly contracting power plants.”
“Although peak demand is expected to grow at an average of more than 6% a year until 2022, procurement of some planned power plants running on fossil fuels has been slowed down. Renewable programmes are continuing to move forward,” it added.