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Sunday, 8 May 2022

Abu Dhabi Ports to build and run Safaga terminal, cruise ship infrastructure

Abu Dhabi Ports to develop and run Safaga terminal in JV with state authorities: Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP) has signed a contract to develop, operate and manage a multi-purpose terminal in Safaga Port as part of a joint venture with the Red Sea Ports Authority and the Transport Ministry’s commercial arm, the ministry and ADP said in separate statements Thursday. The parties did not disclose the share each will hold in the JV, which is set to be decided in the final contracts, Enterprise has learned.

About the Safaga terminal: The ministry in November signed an initial MoU with ADP to manage the terminal, which is expected to be completed in 2024. Construction of the terminal’s infrastructure — which is set to be financed by the government and cost up to EGP 3 bn — will conclude by the end of next year, the source we spoke to told us. It will include berths of up to 1km and handle all types of cargo, according to the statement. The terminal was one of nine proposed PPP infrastructure projects given preliminary approval by the cabinet in June, though we still haven’t heard of a final go-ahead from the ministers.

ADP previously said it would invest USD 500 mn into Egypt if it won the Safaga Port contract and another contract to construct the Tenth of Ramadan dry port. As of mid-October, the government had received technical bids from six consortia competing for the PPP contract to construct the 250-feddan dry port. The conditions booklet for the tender should be released sometime this month.

ADP is also entering our cruise industry: ADP also signed a second agreement with the Red Sea Ports Authority to develop, operate and manage cruise ship berths and terminals in the Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Safaga ports. The Emirati firm will also develop plans for cruise ship lines linking Abu Dhabi, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh and the Jordanian port of Aqaba.

What they said: The latest agreements are part of plans to make Egypt a “global trade and logistics hub” by developing its Red Sea and Mediterranean ports, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir was quoted as saying by ADP.

This isn’t ADP’s first venture in Egypt: The company recently signed agreements with the Transport Ministry to manage and operate a multi-purpose terminal in Ain Sokhna port and a river port in Minya Governorate.

This is another ADQ tie-in: ADP is majority owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ, which bought 32% of Alexandria Container & Cargo Handling as part of its blockbuster USD 1.8 bn investment in five local state-owned and private firms last month.

This comes a few months after ADP completed its IPO in Abu Dhabi, where it raised some USD 1.1 bn. Shares in the ports operator closed at AED 5.56 on Friday, up 74% from the offer price of AED 3.20 on its debut in February.

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