Last Update 22:6
Friday, 18 October 2019

Private Nile River port opens in Egypt

As Egypt faces escalating fuel crisis, companies turn to the Nile River for more economical transportation of commodities

Waad Ahmed , Thursday 31 Oct 2013
river port
File photo: Boats travel in the Egyptian Nile River in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 4210
Views: 4210

A privately-owned grains port on the Nile River will open on Thursday after three months of experimental operations, an operating company spokesperson told Ahram Online.

The port, which is operated by Nile Stevedoring and Storage Company (NSSC), is meant to encourage river transportation as an efficient means for commodity transportation, says NSSC executive manager Ismail Nawar.

A joint venture between private agri-business Wadi Holding and private supply chain MedSofts Holding, the port is located on a branch of the Nile River in the city of Nubarriya, 800 metres from Alexandria's Mediterranean coast.

The port's first phase, which cost LE300 million, is capable of exchanging 1.2 million tons of grain and storing 20,000 tons, Nawar says.

The second phase will increase storage capacity by 180,000 tons and add a grinding mill to the port, for a total cost of LE50 million.

Grain companies are the port's main benefactors, Nawar says.

Egypt operates its grain ports at nearly full capacity and is the world's leading wheat importer. The country processes some 20 million tons of grain and oil seeds every year, according to a July report by Reuters.

The NSSC plans to establish an additional port in Assiut in order to solve the problems arising from long distance commodity transportation, added Nawar.

Commodity transportation through the Nile is more fuel efficient than road transportation. As such, it is considered both cost efficient and environmentally friendly.

Each river barge can carry around 1000 tons of grain, 20 times more than the capacity of a truck, which means less fuel usage per ton, Nawar stated.

The energy consumed in river transportation is 44 percent less than that of land transportation. Damages from road accidents amount to LE3.4 billion annually, according to the Cairo governorate's website.

Egypt has suffered from fuel shortages over the past few years amid government plans to reduce fuel subsidies, which consume around a fifth of state budget expenditures.

The total bill for energy subsidies is expected to reach LE100 billion in 2013/14, compared to some LE120 billion last year, according to the Egyptian government.

Several companies are already investing in river barges, ports and storage facilities. These include Citadel Capital, which invested $200 million in river projects in 2012, and Nile Logistics, which plans to develop two more river ports.

There are 42 existing river ports across Egypt, Karim Abou El-Kheir, former head of Egypt's Nile River Transportation Authority, told Ahram Online. However, the potential of these ports has been limited due to lack of development and upgrades, Abou El-Kheir said.

The Nile transports some 3 million tons of commodities throughout Egypt, according to Abou El-Kheir.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.