News / Middle East

    Egypt Awards Suez Project to Group Including Army

    Egypt's army troops cross the Suez Canal to work on an upgrading project to guard Ismailia, a port city northeast of Cairo, Aug. 12, 2014.
    Egypt's army troops cross the Suez Canal to work on an upgrading project to guard Ismailia, a port city northeast of Cairo, Aug. 12, 2014.
    Reuters

    Egypt's Suez Canal Authority announced on Tuesday that a Bahrain-registered firm is to develop a huge industrial and logistics hub around the canal, but gave no details of the project itself.

    The Egyptian army is a local partner in Dar Al-Handasah Egypt through the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, army and government sources have told Reuters.

    A plan to develop the canal was announced under former President Mohamed Morsi last year but opponents accused him of attempting to sell public land to foreigners and the project was shelved for many months. The army ousted Morsi in July last year following mass protests.

    The head of the Suez Canal Authority, Lieutenant General Mohab Memish, announced the winning consortium alongside Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab at a news conference in the city of Ismailia, a city on the banks of the canal.

    "The winning consortium to create the master plan for the Suez Canal area development project is the consortium of Dar Al-Handasah Shair and Partners, which is registered in Bahrain, in alliance with Dar al-Handasah Egypt," Memish said.

    He gave no further details about how much the project is likely to cost or which industries the plan would focus on. The Suez Canal Authority was not immediately available for comment.

    Earlier this month, President and former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi announced a multi-billion dollar national project to expand the Suez Canal by building a new canal alongside it.

    It was not immediately clear in what way the two projects might be linked.

    Sissi has said he would not hesitate to award to the army major projects that would help revive Egypt's economy.

    The military - whose budget is not made public - has accrued a business empire ranging from bottled water to tablet computers and is seen by many Egyptians as more efficient than the government.

    The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia and brings in around $5 billion in revenues per year, a vital source of hard currency for Egypt which has struggled since a 2011 uprising deterred tourists and foreign investors.

    In January, Egypt invited 14 consortia to bid for the development of 76,000 square kilometers (29,000 square miles) around the canal. Thirteen of the 14 consortia, which included Australia's WorleyParsons, consulting firm McKinsey & Co and Japan's Oriental Consultants, submitted bids.

    “Wait and see”

    The government says it wants to attract both local and foreign investors for the Suez Canal area development project which it has hailed as a way of turning Egypt into a major trading hub through the expansion of shipping facilities.

    But investors are likely to wait until more concrete plans have been announced before pouring in money.

    "It is an important project... If it is well planned and well designed it is achievable," said Mohamed Abou Basha, an economist at Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes.

    "The idea has been there for many years but never been implemented or seriously considered... We have to wait to see how they are going to design the zone, which industries are they planning to attract and what benefits they will give investors," Abou Basha said.

    The Sinai peninsula, which lies the eastern side of the canal, has seen a rise in violence from Islamist militants in recent months, prompting the government to launch an ongoing military campaign in which hundreds have died on both sides.

    Egypt's Gulf Arab allies support the Egyptian military and have given billions of dollars in aid to the country since the army ousted Morsi last year.

    Dar Al-Handasah says on its website that its 6,900 employees offer services in planning, design, management and supervision and that it has finished building projects across the Middle East, Africa and India.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Nihal El-Sayed from: Singapore
    August 21, 2014 7:45 AM
    This article makes it sound like Morsi was ousted because of the canal plan and so Sisi is also implicated in the allegations, this is misleading. Also, the tone of the article towards the Egyptian army is not fair – there are many countries where the army plays a significant role in the country and Egypt happens to be one of them. Western media is quick to judge and jump to conclusions!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora