A 1,000,000 sq. m. plot of land in the industrial city of the 10th of Ramadan northeast of Cairo has been handed over to International Power Group Egypt, Ltd. (IPWG Egypt), for the construction and operation of state-of-the-art waste management and recycling facilities. Louis D. Garcia, IPWG Egypt’s Chief Financial Officer said that, under a cooperation protocol agreement signed with the Environmental Affairs Ministry last August, IPWG is to establish a comprehensive hazardous waste management system throughout Egypt. The 10th of Ramadan project will serve as the pilot project for the remainder of the country. Land clearing and road cutting have already begun at the 10th of Ramadan site, and IPWG has concluded a 25-year lease agreement with the Egyptian government.
Transit tolls up
The Suez Canal Authority has decided to increase transit tolls as of April 2008 by 7.1 per cent, or a percentage ranging between 4.2 and 14.7 per cent, according to the type of vessel. The tolls will rise by 5.7 per cent for containers, 7.3 per cent for oil tankers and 7 per cent for liquified gas carriers, said Suez Canal Authority Chairman Ahmed Fadel. He noted that 20,410 ships transited the canal during 2007, marking a 9.4 per cent rise in the number of ships crossing the canal compared to 2006. Canal revenues in 2007, Fadel said, rose to more than $ 4.6 billion, 20 per cent higher than those of 2006. And the average number of ships transiting the international waterway soared from 51.1 ships daily in 2006 to 55.9 in 2007.
$150 Million Loan
The African Development Bank Group has given Egypt a $150 million loan to finance the Damietta container terminal on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast. The project consists of construction of quay walls, dredging the access channel and turning basin, installing the modern transshipment equipment, and development of the terminal area and container yard. The port currently handles exports of agricultural products, fertilisers and furniture as well as imported goods such as petrochemicals, cement, grains, flour, and general cargo. It handles a total capacity of about 5.6 million tons annually. The project is expected to create 1,600 permanent jobs.
Towards liberal trade
Egypt and the EU have agreed to finalise procedures for liberalising agricultural goods by 2008, said Foreign Trade and Industry Minister Rasheed M. Rasheed, opening the door for increased exports of Egyptian produce to Europe. Negotiations are also underway to liberalise the service trade, he said. If successful, this would allow Egyptian contractors to participate with European counterparts in mammoth projects.
Work is underway at the first ‘city’ in Egypt and the Middle East for the leather and dyeing industry. It will be built on 533 feddans in the satellite town of Badr City east of Cairo, at investments amounting to LE800 million. The state-of-the-art project, which will be executed using Italian and Spanish expertise, will help increase leather exports to more than $300 million a year, Rasheed M. Rasheed said.
Hosni guest of honour
The Gyor Museum in Hungary has chosen Culture Minister Farouk Hosni as guest of honour of its upcoming session next June. The session will highlight Egypt’s contemporary arts in the fields of photography, graphics, sculpture and painting. The museum spokesman praised Hosni as a unique artist who painted several masterpieces.