The Ministry of Transportation has earmarked EGP 67m to dredge Damietta Port in order to accommodate giant ships, Minister Ibrahim Al-Damairy announced Sunday.
Around 1m cubic metres will be dredged as part of the project, a joint operation between Damietta Port Authority (DPA) and Suez Canal Authority subsidiary Timsah shipbuilding Company. Work is expected to be completed by June, Al-Damairy said .
The move is part of the ministry’s plan to upgrade maritime ports and increase their efficiency. The ministry also intends to start using the 4.5 kilometre-long channel connecting the port to the Nile to transport goods.
During a visit to Damietta Port Sunday, the minister met with several businessmen and investors to discuss possible ways to further improve the port.
Earlier this month, Major General Mostafa Amer, head of DPA, announced plans to finish a new 340 metre pier in March. The pier’s cost of construction is EGP120m.
Amer said DPA planned to build two new warehouses with an initial cost of EGP 28m during the 2014/2015 fiscal year. The warehouses are needed to increase the storage space in at the port and reduce congestion on its sidewalks.
Water transportation has been receiving nationwide attention recently.
Earlier this month, the National Company for Multimodal Transport (NMT), a subsidiary of Nile Logistics, announced the launch of a new container transhipment service. The shipment service will transport containers via river barges between Port Said and Sharq Al-Tafrea container terminals, located in Suez Canal.
The transhipment service was a result of close cooperation between the Suez Canal Authority, the Egyptian Authority for Maritime Safety, the Suez Canal Container Terminal and Port Said Container Terminal, said Maged Farrag, NMT chairman.
“In addition to reducing fuel consumption, easing road congestion and reducing accident rates, the transhipment service will create new employment opportunities for the residents of the Suez Canal region,” said Ahmed El Sharkawy, managing director of Citadel Capital, which has an effective ownership stake of 37.9% in NMT.