AWCS told Egypt seeking to press on with PPP projects

The annual MEED Arabian World Construction Summit (AWCS) in Dubai was told today that Egypt is pressing on with plans for major public-private partnerships (PPPs) and there is evidence that donor and commercial financial support will be available for them.

Director of Egypt’s PPP central unit Atter Hannoura told MEED that three PPPs had been contracted, one was under tender and nine had been approved or were under study. They include plans to build a $10bn high-speed railway link between Alexandria and Aswan.

Egypt’s PPP central unit was set up in 2007. The three PPP projects that have been contracted out are:

  • the Mowassat Specialised University Hospital,
  • the new Cairo wastewater treatment plant and
  • the Smouha maternity university hospital and blood bank.

Hannoura said that the New Cairo wastewater treatment plant, which has capacity of 250,000 cubic metres a day, is due to be opened officially within the next month.

Hannoura said that future PPP projects include:

  • The 1.6m cubic-metre-a-day Abu Rayyash sewage treatment plant. The project is now under tender.

Three projects have been approved by the government and should be put out to tender in three-four months, Hannoura said. The projects are:

  • the Greater Cairo riverbus ferry project, which is under study
  • the second, third and fourth phase of the smart village project. This calls for the construction of a total of 27 buildings for use by call-centre firms and other service providers. This project also under study
  • the automation of Egypt’s notarisation offices. This will involve about 400 offices. The project is under study.

Hannoura said that possible PPP projects that are under study include:

  • a new industrial port in Sofaga on the Red Sea to export rock phosphate, and phosphatic products, including fertilisers, and to import livestock
  • three desalination plants
  • a 40-kilometre light tram link from Heliopolis to New Cairo
  • the privatisation of four Nile freight ports
  • three hospitals
  • 1,000 state schools to be developed on a public finance initiative basis
  • street lighting replacement in Alexandria.

Attoura said the biggest possible PPP project is the plan to build the Alexandria-Aswan high-speed railway. He said this project would be delivered in three phases. “We plan to select an international advisor for this project,” Hannoura said.

Hannoura said that the PPP central unit planned to play a major role in Suez Canal corridor development plan. He said that bids have been invited for the contract to deliver a masterplan for the corridor which will encompass the entire length of the Suez Canal and 10 kilometres either side of the waterway. The client is the Suez Canal Authority.

“This will be a project that will require tens of billions of dollars of investment,” Hannoura said. “About 12 international companies have expressed interest in the masterplan contract.” He said that bids are due within a month. The masterplan is due for completion in about 12 months.

The conceptual plan for the corridor calls for the development of new ports, industrial zones and logistics areas, Hannoura said.

“More than 40-50 per cent of these projects will be tendered as PPP,” Hannoura said.

Hannoura said that there he sees evidence that local banks and regional and international agencies are preparing to lend heavily in support of Egyptian projects. 


Supporters of the AWCS 2014

  • HSBC and CPC are strategic event partners.
  • Hyder and Six Construct are gold partners.
  • Agis, Mashreq and Projacs are silver sponsors.
  • Deloitte is knowledge partner.
  • EC Harris Built Asset Consultancy is lunch sponsor on day one and Bentley is CEO Forum sponsor.
  • Aksa, Drake & Scull, Hill International and Zurich are conference sponsors.

For more information about the AWCS, see