Problem solved? Egypt announces construction of 35 new industrial cities
In an attempt to address the shortage of industrial land equipped with basic infrastructure, such as roads and water lines, the government will finish developing 35 industrial zones in 22 governorates by the end of June, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said Monday.
Abdel Nour discussed hurdles facing the industrial sector during a meeting with members of the Chamber of Building Materials Industries attended by Mohamed El-Sewedy, head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, according to a ministry statement.
Key problems facing the industrial sector are the unavailability of equipped industrial lands, energy shortage and lack of skilled workers, said Ahmed Abdel Hamid, head of the Chamber of Building Materials Industries, during the meeting.
Abdel Nour said the Ministry of Industry would adopt a strategy to address the difficulties facing different industrial sectors.
The energy shortage problem facing factories will continue this year and the next year, Abdel Nour said, according to the statement.
“There’s no alternative for importing energy,” he said. “The energy shortage problem is expected to ease in 2016.”
The government will review the current energy system by developing gas fields, revising contracts with natural gas extraction companies, and focusing on renewable energy production, Abdel Nour said.
The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) reduced gas supplies to cement factories by 50%, which resulted in a slump in cement production.
In December, Abdel Nour announced that EGP 1.5bn will be allocated to build the infrastructure for 32 industrial zones in 22 different governorates. This amount was made available after coordination between the ministers of Planning and Industry.
The president of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Mahmoud Al-Garf said, at the time, that the EGP 1.5bn was part of a total of EGP 2.6bn approved as part of Egypt’s stimulus plan.
Abdel Nour said this money will accelerate the development projects that will give industrial zones in the Upper Egypt, Nile Delta, Suez Canal, Sinai and Cairo Governorates access to necessities, such as roads, electricity, and water.
By Doaa Farid