CAIRO: Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab stated on Sunday that the project of developing Suez Canal Axis would cost 50 billion EGP, clarifying it will begin within six months, he said in an interview with Al-Nahar.
Mahlab said the project is still in the planning stages, and the advisory office would announce its status within six months.
The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, allowing ships to travel between Europe and Eastern Asia without navigating around Africa, and is one of the main sources for hard currency in Egypt, annually bringing revenues of $5 billion.
In January the Hazem al-Beblawy government selected 14 consortia tendered to participate in implementing the Suez Canal Development Project; the Egyptian army and global engineering firm Dar al-Handasah were chosen for the project to implement an international industrial and logistics hub in the Suez Canal area, Reuters reported Sunday.
The official winning consortium has yet to be announced by the government or President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, although he is expected to announce the winner Tuesday.
Dr. Abdel Tawab Hagag , the economic advisor of the Suez Canal Authority head said the winning consortium should tender its plans to develop the canal axis within six months from the announcement.
He told The Cairo Post that the developments in the axis would take place every five years till 2050, adding “the estimated annual revenues are not confirmed.”
Ashraf Dewidar, founding member of Popular Front of the Suez Canal Axis (PESCA) told CNBC Arabia Sunday that the project represents a “quantum leap” to Egypt and would help in curbing the economic crisis.
“It’s a comprehensive project…and will include the surrounding governorates like Port Said, Ismailia and Suez,” he said.
He said the project would provide 1.5 million job opportunities and the expected annual revenues in the next seven years might reach $100 billion.
The master objectives from developing the Axis according to the bid requirements posted on the Suez Canal Authority website are to create job opportunities, generate investment, and create an area for international maritime services, logistics, industrial, and urban development.