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Egypt's grain hub plan to be finished sooner, for LE2 bn more

Egypt's president asks for project to place country at centre of regional grade trade to be completed in two years, at LE15 billion cost

Waad Ahmed , Sunday 2 Nov 2014
An employee works at an elevator, transporting grain from a lower storage to the upper stage of a warehouse, in the town of Blagodarny, some 150 km (93 miles) east of Stavropol in southern Russia, July 5, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 2508

A project to establish Egypt as the region's hub for the grain trade is now estimated to be finished in two years instead of the originally proposed five, raising the cost of the project by almost LE2 billion.

The ministry of supply announced last month that a project to build a logistics hub to store, trade and manufacture grains and seeds in the Nile Delta would cost a total of LE13.1 billion.

But President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who approved the project last week, asked to cut the execution phase to two years, leading to a rise in costs, said Mahmoud Diab, spokesman for the ministry of supply.

The project, which will be built on 3,350 square kilometres in the Delta governorate of Damietta, is expected to annually trade up to 65 million tonnes of grain and basic food commodities.

Egypt, the world's largest wheat buyer, hopes to use its standing in the international market to become a logistics hub for grains in the Middle East and North Africa.

The project will build high-tech storage silos, which will raise Damietta's storage capacity to 7.5 million tonnes from the current 2.5 million tonnes. Also in the works are two new platforms capable of receiving large cargos in Damietta's marine port and five manufacturing areas.

The manufacturing areas are meant to boost the food industry by producing flour, pasta, cooking oils and sugar for both domestic consumption and export to the MENA region.

The grain hub project is one of several projects the government plans to offer to international investors at an economic summit in February, the ministry spokesman said.

Egypt's government has set a target of 6 percent growth rate in FY 2018/19.


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