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Egypt to invite bidders to develop 3 river ports within days: minister

Monday 25 June 2018 06:19 PM

Hisham Arafat
Hisham Arafat

By Medhat Ismail
Ministry of Transports is poised to invite investors to develop 3 river ports in the Upper Egypt cities of Qena, Assiut and Suhag within a few days, according to statements issued yesterday by minister Dr. Hisham Arafat on the sidelines of ceremony marking the signing of a protocol with the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority chaired by Mohab Mamish.
The protocol involved the provision of dredging and navigational services, manufacturing buoys, motorboats as well as lighthouses serving navigational purposes.
The new river ports are meant to streamline  cargo vessels  in the framework of a larger governmental plan based on relying more heavily on the river Nile for transportation.
" Bid requirements are set to be offered within days, as 15, 15  and 34 acres are slated to be allotted in Qena, Suhag, and Assiut on the basis of  usufruct ownership of lands," said chairman of River Transport Authority Abd El-Azim Mohmed.
River Nile passengers and cargoes amounted to 62k person and 51k tons respectively  during 2016, according to estimates issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.
Building up river ports was attempted several times before owing to lack of lands necessary for installing anchors.
River Transport Authority, seeking to establish an automatic tracking system, has tapped the General Authority for Reconstruction & Agricultural Development to allocate a total of 10k sqm for 4 sites in order to install the system designed to monitor the movements of vessels.
On the same vein, Ministry of Planning & Follow-up and Administrative reforms has earmarked EGP125mln in the fiscal year 2018 - 2019 to clear the bed of the river by scooping out mud, weeds, and rubbish using dredges.
With dredging accomplished in the distance from Aswan to the Upper Egypt City of Nagy Hamady, the subsidiaries of the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority will proceed with dredging along to the Delta City of El-Kanater El-Khairia.