An Egyptian-Chinese alliance was formed following the signing of seven memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to implement projects for the New Administrative Capital.
The MOUs were signed between Chairman of the Arab Contractors company Mohsen Salah, Chairman of Petrojet Mohamed Al-Sheimy, and Vice President of China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC).
The alliance will construct the new cabinet’s building along with 12 other ministerial buildings, starting with the Ministry of Housing. The alliance will also build a new convention centre, a fairground, and 15,000 residential units for low and middle income citizens.
“These projects mark the first phase of the new capital, which will be launched by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi,” an official statement issued by the ministry read. The first phase will be implemented on 10,500 feddans.
The MOUs also included the loan agreement for sewage projects in 1,077 villages in eight governments. The loan will be provided by Chinese governmental banks and is for an undisclosed amount.
During his upcoming visit to Cairo, Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the finalisation of the agreement outlined by the MOUs when the Egyptian companies sign the loan agreement with the Chinese side, Minster of Housing Mostafa Madbouly said Sunday.
At the inception of the new capital project, which was first launched in March 2014 during the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC), the expected cost of construction totaled $45bn and construction was supposed to take place during a five to seven-year implementation period. The capital will be located along the corridor between Cairo and the Red Sea, providing linkages to significant shipping routes.
Initially, Emirati Company Capital City Partners, a private real estate firm chaired by tycoon Mohamed Al-Abbar who was the principal investor in Dubai’s skyscraper Burj Khalifa which cost $1.5 bn to construct, was said to be the sole developer in the project.
Madbouly recently announced that the Egyptian New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) will infuse EGP 5bn in the new capital project.
The implementation of the new capital project was met with scepticism after conflicting reports from government officials. These reports included statements made by Assistant Minister of Housing Khaled Abbas who pointed out that negotiations with UAE investors over the New Cairo Capital project are facing significant difficulties. This led several news outlets to report that the agreement between Egypt and the UAE partner was terminated.
In June, Ministry of Housing spokesperson Wafaa Bakry told Daily News Egypt that private negotiations are still ongoing with the presidency. Madbouly also said at the time that those reports were untrue.
“Signing contracts usually takes a lot of time, so no need to worry about the project,” he had said.
The latest announcement made by Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman and Madbouly mentioned that Capital City Partners will not be the sole developer but rather will be one among many investors.
“The government is taking significant steps toward implementing the new administrative capital project via an investment zone system,” Salman said in September.