By Walid Abdelazim
Mohamed Sadik, Chairman of the Shura Council’s Transportation Committee, has said that the state will not receive more than EGP 50 million from the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), which holds a concession from the government, over the next 35 years.
He stressed that the news that the government was able to recover EGP 2billion in a settlement with the company was a “big deception.”
The Transportation Committee had previously exposed corruption in the agreement between the state and the SCCT, which cost the state approximately EGP 3billion. The agreement was signed during the previous regime.
Sadik added that negotiations between the Ministry of Transportation and the SCCT will obligate the state to spend EGP 500 billion to build a side canal which the port does not need. He said that no more than six ships currently enter the port each day and that the average wait time is not more than 15 minutes, a rate lower than world averages.
Sadik urged Prime Minister Ganzouri to wait to sign off on the agreement until it can be further studied.
Galal Saeed, Minister of Transportation, stressed that the Ministry’s documentation shows that the agreement is sound, adding that Sadik’s statements were questionable.
The SCCT obtained a concession from the government to operate in the port east of Port Said and began operations in 2004.
The SCCT is a joint stock company in which Egyptian and foreign investors participate. The Dutch company APM Terminals is the largest share holder, with 55% of SCCT’s shares. It is considered one of the largest terminal operators in the world, managing more than 50 shipping container stations around the globe. The Chinese company Cos Co. Holds 20% of SCCT’s shares with the Suez Canal Authority holding 10.3%. The National Bank of Egypt holds 5% and private sector companies hold the remaining 9.7%.