CAIRO: Egypt’s government signed around 18 agreements with an estimated total cost of $85.8 billion Saturday on the sidelines of the three-day Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) “Egypt the Future,” in Sharm el-Sheikh of South Sinai.
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi opened the long-awaited economic conference Friday, thanking late Saudi King Abdullah for calling for the conference, and said that Egypt has applied legal reforms to improve the investment atmosphere.
Energy and electricity sectors have obtained the lion’s share in the agreements signed, with a diversity of Arab investors from the UAE and Saudi Arabia to foreign partners from China, Italy and the U.K, reflecting the priority given to the energy shortage to meet growing energy demands in Egypt, which has been witnessing a sharp energy shortage over the past four years, causing daily power cuts, with the crisis taking a severe turn for the worse last summer.
Eight agreements in electricity sector
The Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy signed Sunday $21.2 billion in deals with a number of international companies to develop the national electricity network and build new power plants operating with various sources.
The first agreement was signed between the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy and Germany’s Siemens representatives Lisa Davis with an estimated investment of $10 billion.
In the presence of the German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel and Egypt’s Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker, both sides signed four memoranda of understanding to establish power plants to overcome the Egyptian electricity crisis and to create more job opportunities.
According to one of the four memoranda, a combined power plant will be established in Beni Sueif (Upper Egypt) with capacity of 11.004 megawatts. The second memorandum includes establishing five other combined power plants in Noubarya of Beheira governorate (Delta), in Sedi Kirir in Alexandria, in Southern Cairo, in Qena (Upper Egypt), and in Kafr el-Dawwar with total of 6,600 megawatts.
According to the third memorandum, a large factory will be established to produce manufacturing tools for the wind plants, the statement added.
Under the fourth memorandum, another factory will be established to power transformer stations with different voltages.
Further, the ministry signed with Saudi ACWA Power Corporation and UAE Masdar Corporate a $ 9.4 billion memorandum of understating in investments to build power plants working with solar and coal sources, according to a statement from the ministry.
One of the two memoranda was signed with both ACWA Power and Masdar Corporate; it aims to build combined a power plant with 2,200 megawatt in western Damietta and number of solar power stations in certain places nationwide with total of 1,500 megawatt, besides a wind power plant with 500 megawatt. The memorandum is worth $ 2.4 billion.
The second $7 billion agreement was signed with ACWA Power to build a coal-operated power plant with 2,000 megawatt and could be expanded to produce 4,000 megawat.
The ministry also signed $1.8 billion agreement with the State Grid Corporation of China to develop an electricity transfer network in Egypt, the ministry stated.
Three agreements in oil, gas sector
Egypt signed three oil and gas deals worth a total of $17 billion Saturday on the sidelines of the economic conference, and another $4 billion deal is scheduled to be signed Sunday.
Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail signed an agreement with Italy’s oil major ENI, to inject investments worth $5 billion in developing gas fields in concessions located in the Mediterranean, the Western Desert, the Nile Delta and Sinai to produce 900 million cubic feet.
“The agreement would be finalized within the coming two months,” Ismail told Youm7 after signing the deal, predicting an increase in Egypt’s gas production over the coming four years.
Another $12 billion deal with British Petroleum Egypt was signed Saturday in the presence of UK Ambassador to Egypt John Casson on the sideline of the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC).
The deal of the West Nile Delta project is aimed to develop 5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas resources and 55 million barrels of condensates, after the British company announced a new “important” deep-water gas discovery in Egypt’s Mediterranean North Damietta Offshore Concession last week.
Bob Dudley, Chief Executive Officer of BP, said the deal would create new job opportunities for young people, adding “We are proud to be with you.”
The project is “a vote of confidence in Egypt’s investment climate and economic potential,” BP stated last week.
Another deal worth $4 billion between Egypt’s Petroleum Ministry and BG Egypt, a subsidiary of British Gas Group, will be signed on Sunday, the third day of the EEDC.
Further, Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation will sign an agreement with the Islamic Bank of Development to provide $200 million for financing a petrol production unit in Upper Egypt’s Asyut governorate to meet fuel demand in Upper Egypt.
Chairman of State-owned EGAS khaled Abdel Badie also signed memoranda of understanding with Tula Onofre, head of the company the Cyprus Hedrocarbons, to prepare a feasibility study for Cyprus LNG export, using the outstanding infrastructure in Egypt.
Deal for new administrative capital east of Cairo
Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly signed an agreement with the UAE’s Capital Saturday to establish a new administrative capital city halfway between Cairo and the Suez Canal area with a total cost estimated at $ 45 billion, Youm7 reported.
The agreement was signed in presence of President Sisi and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE.
“The new capital is planned expand to 700 square kilometers in size and to house at least 5 million people. The first phase of the project involves the expansion of the current capital eastwards by adding an area of 105 square kilometers to house governmental buildings, embassies, universities with 9,000 kilometers of roads and over one million residential units.” said Madbouly.
Six agreements in transportation
Egypt’s Minister of Transportation Hany Dahy signed six agreements with international companies to implement projects worth a total of $2.2 billion.