The Damietta Port Authority (DPA) signed the deal as part of the Transport Ministry’s ambitious plans to upgrade ports across the country. It follows the inauguration of two new berths at the site in October last year.
“This project will allow ships with unprecedented dimensions and volumes to enter the port. It also coincides with ongoing dredging of the access channel to reach a depth of 16.5m," said Vice Admiral Ayman Saleh Ibrahim, Chairman of Damietta Port Authority (DPA)
The DPA also announced the development of an adjacent handling yard, covering 75,000 square metres and the provision of a further 60 tonnes of tugboat capacity.
Government pushes for foreign investment
Port investment has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as the Egyptian government has pushed ahead with plans to attract foreign investment. Limited national finances have meant many projects are untenable without foreign involvement and the government’s new strategy is now focused on opening up the port sector for Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP).
UAE group Khalifa bin Butti Bin Omeir (KBBO) is one of the first major investors following the announcement of plans to invest $2 billion in key sectors of the Egyptian economy on Saturday. It was part of a total of $12 billion pledged at an economic forum held at the port city of Sharm el-Sheikh last week.
"We will contribute in investing in health, money exchange, waste management, renewable energy and other fields," Nabeel Rahman, chief executive of KBBO said, but declined to give precise details of the projects as yet.
The Ministry of Transport welcomed the capital as part of its medium term investment strategy that aims to attract$13.5 billion over the next five years, according to ministerial advisor Ahmed Moussa.