The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a €25 million ($29.6 million) loan in favour of Egypt’s October Dry Port Company (ODP), a joint stock company established to construct Egypt’s first inland dry port located in 6th of October City, the bank announced on Tuesday.
The EBRD said that the loan is part of a total investment package of worth $60 million to finance the design, development, construction, and operation, as well as maintenance of the port.
The project will be Egypt’s trigger investment under the EBRD's Green Cities Framework.
The port will function as an extended gateway for the deep-sea ports located in the northern and eastern regions of Egypt and designed to be the final destination of cargo.
It is expected to provide efficient customs inspections and clearance procedures, reduce congestion in the seaports, create economies of scale by using intermodal rail services to/from the seaports and, and improve the overall reliability and cost-efficiency of the logistics processes of the dry port's future clients, according to the EBRD.
“It is also expected to transfer part of the container traffic from road to railway, thus realising many social, environmental, and economic benefits such as reduced road congestion, accidents, and environmental emissions. In particular, the project will lead to significant GHG savings and air pollutants reductions and is therefore consistent with the Green Economy Transition (GET) approach and is 100 percent GET, the EBRD illustrated.
Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat stated that the inland dry port projects boost Egypt’s strategy of green transformation, adding that the loan that the EBRD has approved for the 6th of October City’s dry port paves the way for securing more finances for such kind of projects and other transport projects through establishing further international partners.
Egypt, considered the top investment destination for the EBRD in 2020, had the best economic performance during the COVID-19 pandemic among all the countries the EBRD is operating in, a fact that made it one of the only three countries where the EBRD has activities in the region which witnessed positive economic growth in 2020, according to Managing Director of the EBRD for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region Heike Harmgart in an interview with Al-Ahram Weekly during the bank’s annual meeting held in June.
In June, the EBRD projected Egypt’s real GDP to grow by 4.2 percent in 2021, 0.8 percent lower than the bank’s forecasts in 2020. However, it expected the rate to increase to 5.2 percent in 2022, a level close to the rates accomplished prior to the pandemic.