Suez Canal Authority’s (SCA) investments in the FY 2020/21 plan estimated at EGP 16.9bn, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said said Sunday.
The investments will be used to implement the authority’s development and expansion projects, despite the impacts of the coronavirus crisis.
The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development report stated that the SCA’s investments are directed at implementing several projects. These include completing the construction of four tunnels under the Suez Canal, including two in Port Said Governorate and two in Ismailia Governorate.
El-Said stressed the economic importance of the Suez Canal, which is a major artery for maritime trade.
The Suez Canal is also one of the most important links in global supply chains, due to its important geographical location as a navigation channel linking the Mediterranean Sea at Port Said and the Red Sea at Suez. The minister also made note of the navigation services provided by the canal for ships and transit carriers.
El-Said added that maritime transport is considered the cheapest means of transport around the world, with more than 80% of international trade transported through maritime roads and channels.
She stressed that the SCA is one of Egypt’s most important sources of foreign exchange inflows, as its revenues reached about $5.73bn in FY 2018/2019.
The minister added that, before the coronavirus pandemic, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected continued rise in these revenues to $5.9bn in FY 2019/20, before reaching $6.2bn in FY 2020/21.
This comes in addition to completing strategic projects on the Suez Canal, namely constructing a sea pier east of the Al-Fardan Station, alongside completing the berths for the new canal ferryboats. There will also be work carried out on protecting the side slopes of the phosphate complex export berth at Ain Sokhna.
The report noted that work will start on implementing some national projects, including the construction of the Al-Fardan and Ras Baniyas railway bridges, and clearing the Manzala and Mariout Lakes. Other work will be carried out on dredging the port at Jarjob city and the Abu Qir, as well as the acquisition of 38 fishing vessels.
Further financing will be directed to developing a fleet of the locomotives used to pull ships crossing the Suez Canal in terms of capacity and tensile strength.
The authority’s equipment will also be modernised, increasing its capacity. With improved equipment, it is expected that there will also be improved and safer navigation along the canal.
Other work that will be covered by the SCA’s investments includes a tranche of financing that will go towards developing the authority’s arsenals at Port Said and Port Tawfiq. This will ensure that they can face the global development of transit ships.