IFC to provide $20 million loan for first private port in Egypt
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide a $20 million loan to the Sokhna Port Development Company (SPDC). IFC's funding will help finance SPDC's investments in equipment and civil works at the Sokhna Port located along the Red Sea.
SPDC operates the Sokhna Port under a 25-year concession agreement awarded by the Government of Egypt in 1999. The Sokhna Port is the first fully private port operating in Egypt. It is a modern deep water facility capable of handling post-panamax vessels and provides ships serving the Cairo area with an alternative to Mediterranean ports. Located at the southern entrance of the Suez Canal, the Sokhna Port allows vessels to load and unload their cargo
destined to and from Egypt and turn around without having to cross the Suez Canal. SPDC uses an electronic-data-interchange-based customs clearance process that significantly reduces the time required for customs clearance, and hence transportation costs, compared to other Egyptian ports.
"IFC's investment in SPDC will support the development of a modern port facility that has the potential to become a major gateway for Egypt's growing trade with Asia and North Africa." said Francisco Tourreilles, Director of
IFC's Infrastructure department. He added, "This project will have a significant development impact for Egypt, not only through the provision of efficient port services, but also by transforming Egypt's port sector through
the introduction of private competition."
Sami Haddad, IFC's Director for Middle East and North Africa, noted, "IFC's financing supports Egypt's efforts to encourage private sector participation in infrastructure projects. IFC's investment will have a strong demonstration
effect by encouraging international investors to work with, and extend private financing to, strong local companies such as SPDC." (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)