Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi discussed on Tuesday with Board Chairman of the Dredging, Environmental and Marine Engineering NV (DEME) Company Luc Bertrand, along with a number of the company senior officials the national project for the comprehensive development of Bardawil Lake in North Sinai.
The Bardawil project comes within the government’s strategy aimed at developing Egyptian lakes and restoring their previous condition.
The Bardawil Lake project, which was launched in 2017, targets increasing the lake's productivity and preserving its fish reserves by enforcing hunting laws to prevent all fishing violations. The project's objectives also include allocating designated villages for fishermen in order to raise their standards of living.
For the DEME Head, Luc Bertrand expressed his company’s aspiration to cooperate with Egypt in developing the Bardawil, given the lake's unique location on the Mediterranean Sea and its high-quality fish wealth, its expected to have a wide positive impact on developing the North Sinai region, providing job opportunities, restoring the environmental balance of the lake, improving water quality and achieving food security.
The development of the Bardawil is positioned to integrate with a bigger strategy of the Sinai Peninsula development, a national venture which Egypt has allocated for an amount of 275 billion Egyptian pounds ($15.6 billion) and is estimated to be completed by 2022.
The lake project is significant for its anticipated contribution in boosting fish production on national levels as well as the unlocking of numerous work opportunities.
Aside from DEME, El-Sisi also met a number of other CEOs of Belgian companies on Tuesday including Antwerp Port Authority and Fluxys, the natural gas transmission system operator.
The meeting was attended by Egypt’s Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly, the Ambassador of Belgium François Cornet D'Elzius, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Mulla and Commander of the Navy Lieutenant General Ahmed Khaled.
Lake Bardawil is a large, very saline lagoon on the north coast of the Sinai Peninsula. The lake, which spans 30 km long and 14 km wide, is one of three major lakes of the Sinai Peninsula.
It is a shallow lake with only three metres in depth., It is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a narrow sandbar, which makes the lake an environment attractive to different fish species.
The lake development projects will be carried out in three stages. The first will be the development of 30 million cubic metres, while the second and third phases will see the development of 40 million cubic metres in each.
The project targets increasing fish production close to 50,000 tons per year.
The government intends to set up a development plan to restore the ecological balance and improve water quality, through a management plan to fishing processes, increasing production by importing fish nutrients and breeding algae as a source of food for fish.