The Ministry of Transportation is studying establishing four new ports as part of river transport development plants, said Mahmoud Gamal El Din, adviser to the Minister of Transportation.
The new ports will serve national projects and logistics areas for grain trade in both Damietta and the canal area.
Gamal El Din said the ports will be located in Sohag, Assiut, Qena, and Mit Ghamr, with construction works expected to be completed within two years. He added that the government aims to increase river transport contributions through partnerships with the private sector to serve national projects, like the Global Logistics Center for Grains.
The ministry will receive technical bids for a tender to construct a link between Damietta river and sea ports by the end of November during the Building Egypt 2030 Conference, according to Gamal El Din. The conference is organised by cement company Lafarge and is set to take place in November. He said that the project is within the scope of the National Grains Logistic Center project.
Gamal El Din further said that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi commissioned a committee comprised of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb and the ministries of Housing, Transport, and Planning. The committee will take action on the Damietta Logistics Center project in cooperation with the relevant ministries.
Meanwhile, Ater Hanoura, head of the Public Private Partnerships Central Unit (PPP), said projects undertaken in partnership with the private sector are limited to the infrastructure, utilities and services. Public projects that are researching funding through private sector partnerships are being studied.
Demand for river transport has declined to 2m tonnes out of the total 550m tonnes that were transported through various means in 2012, Hanoura added. This compares to 8m tonnes of a total 270m tonnes in 2002.
Hanoura said that studies are being conducted on the possibility of obtaining river transport development funding through domestic and foreign funding entities.