East Port Said Development Co receives 250,000 sqm of land from SCZone in April: company director

Nihal Mounir
10 Min Read
Ahmed Al-Mufti, general manager of commercial affairs at East Port Said Development Company

East Port Said Development Company is set to receive 250,000 sqm of land from the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) in April.

Ahmed Al-Mufti, general manager of commercial affairs at East Port Said Development Company, said that the SCZone will hand over the land to the company gradually following the completion of improving soil properties in the area.

SCZone had signed a contract with East Port Said Development Company to link utilities to 16m sqm in the economic zone of the Suez Canal during the World Youth Congress last November.

The stakeholders of East Port Said Development Company, established in 2016, includes Samcrete, National Service Products Organisation (NASPO), and Hassan Allam Holding.

Al-Mufti told Daily News Egypt in an interview that the Armed Forces Engineering Authority used two foreign companies to improve the soil properties of the land to increase its ability to absorb groundwater and prepare it to carry certain loads to build factories.

What is the time period needed for completing the improvement of soil properties in the area? 

The process of soil improvement takes months. The state will hand over the land to the company along several phases.

Has the SCZone set a timetable for the delivery of 16m sqm to the company?

We are looking forward to receiving about 1-1.5m sqm of land from the SCZone this year.

Has the company signed contracts with investors to invest in the region?

We have not signed definitive contracts with investors during the current time, especially as an investment decision needs time for the investor to evaluate the advantages offered by the government and the Suez Canal Economic Zone, in addition to the incentives provided by industrial developers to investors.

What incentives does East Port Said provide to investors?

East Port Said Development Company offers a number of incentives, the most important of which is the completion of all governmental procedures, starting from the procedures of establishing a company through licenses and other matters, and providing its trained labour for factories, as well as security and maintenance services.

Have some foreign investors expressed interest in investing in the area?

Last November, the company signed memoranda of understanding with Germany’s Business Avenue Group (BAG). Five companies have entered into partnerships with the German group to open their factories in the economic zone in various fields.

During the current time, three companies engaged in the sectors of underground irrigation hoses, armoured doors, and solar and electric cars are in serious talks to sign investment contracts in the area.

What industries does the company aim to attract to the zone?

We aim to attract the automotive and assembly industries, feeder industries, electronic industries, building materials and their own feeding industries, and agricultural tractors because they have great uses in Africa, especially because Egypt is a gateway to Africa.

In addition, we want to attract the industries specified by the state, namely engineering, household appliances, and chemical industries.

Are there industries that the company does not want to attract to the region?

Certainly, it is not intended to attract industries that are polluting to the environment, such as cement, fertilisers, and heavy industries such as iron, steel, and petrochemicals. These industries are better located in Ain Sokhna.

What are the features of the company’s promotional plan for the region?

The company has been following a plan of local and international promotion for the region for a year and a half, and is seeking to attract a number of foreign investors to invest in the region.

East Port Said Development Company also participated in a number of international exhibitions in Frankfurt and Dubai and promoted the project in a number of European countries. The company successfully cooperated with the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) to host the conference on sustainable industrial cities in March.

What is the company’s promotion plan for this year?

During the current year, the company will focus on East Asian countries. It will organise a visit to China to present the project. It will also meet with delegations of foreign companies visiting Egypt in the coming period to discuss investment opportunities, especially following the legislative and economic reforms adopted by the government, including the floatation of the pound and the passage of investment and industrial licenses laws.

The company will meet with a delegation of 22 British companies, which will visit Egypt from 10-13 February, and their industrial activities will vary between transport and healthcare, to promote the project.

What is the time period for completion of the project?

The company aims to complete the development of the central region on an area of 4m sqm by the end of June, depending on the areas the company would receive from SCZone after improving soil properties. This is part of the contractually agreed 16m sqm which the company will receive from the SCZone on an usufruct basis.

The company is about to complete three main buildings in the zone on an area of 9,000 sqm, within two months, each building estimated at 3,000 sqm. This includes an administrative building with offices for investors, a vocational training centre, and a conference hall.

Has the company completed some buildings in the zone?

The company has completed the construction of a prototype plant in the region and has received a number of requests from investors to rent that plant. Two leasing applications are being studied for a Ukrainian company and a German company.

How much is the rent value of the plant?

It is difficult to announce the rent value of the plant or the sale price per square metre in the area. It is determined according to a number of factors such as industry type and factory location, given that the price of the square metre varies from one area to another, and according to the time frame for constructing the plant and its completion.

What other projects does the company intend to build within the central area, which is estimated at 4m sqm?

The company aims to establish a commercial zone designed to serve the needs of the region and to establish another branch of the National Academy of Science and Skills (NASS), which was established by the Industrial Development Group, one of Sami Saad Holding (Samcrete)’s companies.

NASS, the first integrated training academy in the Industrial Development Zone in the Sixth of October City, was accredited by Siemens International and the Industrial Training Council (ITC) of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority at the Ministry of Trade and Industry to prepare training courses for workers and technical students in the fields of plumbing, electricity, mechanics, and car maintenance.

The company is also considering the establishment of a hotel or two in the region during the second half of the year on an area of 3,000 sqm.

Has the company received serious requests from Sami Saad Holding to invest in the region?

East Port Said Development Company has not received any requests from any of Sami Saad Holding’s companies to invest in the region. This does not prevent the group from injecting investments if they see any investments that serve the region.

What consulting firms did the company use to prepare the general plan for the area?

The company used Dar Al-Handasah and Dr Ahmed Abdel Warith Office to prepare a plan for the establishment of East Port Said Development Company, along with a number of other Egyptian consulting offices to prepare other studies for the region.

Is the company seeking to establish units for small and medium enterprises in the region?

The company seeks to establish units for small and medium enterprises during the next phase in the region, especially as it serves the owners of small and medium factories.

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