29 September 2020 10:01 PM

Sisi witnesses inauguration of national projects in Damietta

Tuesday، 03 December 2019 - 10:23 AM
President Sisi inaugurates number of national projects in Damietta today

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi witnessed on Tuesday3/12/2019 the inauguration of a number of national projects in Damietta governorate including New Damietta Furniture City, which aims at promoting the industry of furniture to become one of the major economic projects in the Delta area.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki, a number of ministers and senior state officials attended the inauguration ceremony.

The inauguration ceremony started with a Quran recitation that was followed by Governor of Damietta Manal Awad making a presentation on the volume of investments and the number of projects under construction in the governorate.

She said the total investments in Damietta reached EGP 91 billion during the period from 2014 until 2019 including EGP 78 billion in investments that have already been achieved and a total of EGP 13 billion in investments that are still under construction.

Awad said projects in the governorate are being expanded to provide job opportunities and increase the quality of Egyptian products, adding that the construction of New Damietta Furniture City cost EGP 2.7 billion with the cost of utilities estimated at EGP 925 million, bringing the total investments in the city to EGP 3.6 billion.

Governor Manal Awad also said the total cost of the electricity transformers' station of New Damietta Furniture City reached EGP 428 million.

As for petrochemical projects in the governorate, she pointed out that two new production lines are now operational in Misr Fertilizers Production Company (MOPCO), increasing the total production lines to three, with a total cost of EGP 34 billion.

In the electricity field, Awad said the second phase of a new power generation plant was established in western Damietta with a cost of EGP 5.8 billion. She noted that today will witness the opening of a project to convert Western Damietta 2 power station to a combined cycle system at a cost of EGP 3.9 billion.

Also, a multipurpose terminal in Damietta harbor was set up and will be inaugurated later in the day with a total cost of EGP 1.3 billion, the governor said.

As regards the youth and sports projects in the governorate, Damietta Governor Manal Awad said 13 projects have been established with a total cost of EGP 367 million comprising nine that have been already finalized with a cost of EGP 90 million.

On the clean water projects, the governor said a total of 20 projects have been, set up with a total cost of EGP one billion including 11 projects that have been implemented with a cost of EGP 480 million and 9 others that are still under construction with an estimated value of EGP 542 billion.

She made it clear that clean water has reached 100 percent of the governorate.

On the sanitary drainage projects, Awad said a number of 50 projects were constructed with a total cost of EGP 2 billion, asserting that the sanitary drainage network coverage in the governorate currently stands at 76 percent and is expected to reach 85 percent by the completion of under-construction projects in late 2020. (MORE)

Damietta Governor Manal Awad also said the number of projects in the field of education (pre-univresity stage) reached 129 with a total cost of EGP 786 million.

In the health field, Awad said as many as 29 projects were designed for the governorate including 22 projects that have been finalized with a total cost of EGP 655 million, with seven others that are already under way at a total cost of EGP 183 million.

The number of road and bridge projects in the governorate reached 17 with a total cost of EGP 513 million, she added.

The state has also beefed up investments in housing projects including the social housing and the up-scale housing ones and those of new communities with a total value of EGP 6.9 billion, the governor noted.

She also said the total cost of already finished housing projects (496 residential buildings) in the New Damietta City reached EGP 4.5 billion.

Another 39 buildings are being under construction at an estimated cost of EGP 1.6 billion, she added.

Damietta Governor Manal Awad boasted that the Steigenberger Hotel that will be officially inaugurated today is situated in the resort city of Ras el Bar, one of the most beautiful places in the world which is located on the Mediterranean Sea at the mouth of the Damietta Nile branch.

The five-story hotel on 4,200 square meters consists of 142 rooms, 15 suites for the disabled and four conference and celebration halls, she said.

This is the first five-star hotel in the middle of the Nile Delta, she said, noting that the hotel project's cost stood at EGP 360 million.

The hotel has placed Ras el Bar city on the tourism map and generated jobs for Damietta people, she added.

Meanwhile, she reviewed projects for developing slum areas in the Damietta governorate, noting that Damietta will be declared free from shanty areas by the end of 2019.

Within the framework of the "100 Million Healthy Lives" initiative, Damietta Governor Manal Awad said that roughly 165,500 out of 789,800 women were screened in the governorate as part of the women's health initiative.

As part of Damietta's overall development plan, the governor said that all houses overlooking the Nile River in the coastal city of Ezbet El-Borg, were painted and the facades of all restaurants, shops and cafes in all markets in Ras el Bar have been refurbished as part of measures aimed at giving the city a face-lift.

Also, the entrance gates to Ras el Bar have been developed and converted to automatic gates to improve the service of collecting the entrance fees, she noted.

She said a recreational city is being established in El Khalden area, adding that the city will be stretched on an area of 7 feddans on the Nile Corniche.

The governor said that she is currently re-planning the government's fishing farm, noting that the current revenue of the farm is EGP 2 million. After its development, the total revenue is expected to reach EGP 20 million, she noted.

Afterwords, a documentary entitled "promising opportunities" was displayed tackling the efforts exerted by Damietta residents in the field of sustainable development in Egypt.

The documentary reviewed the new projects in Damietta which included Damietta Furniture City, Dar Misr and Steigenberger Hotel El Lessan in Ras el Bar.

It also showed that these economic, investment, services and urban projects are among the issues of top priority for the political leadership.

Addressing the audience at the inauguration ceremony in Damietta, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker pointed out that during the fiscal year 2017/2018 the participation of Siemens-constructed stations to the national grid reached 11 percent with the total of fuel-saving costs estimated at EGP 1.6 billion annually. The figure has risen in the following year to reach EGP 7.3 billion and is expected to reach EGP 12.8 billion soon.

He also said that by the end of 2020 the length of the national electricity network, including the ordinary voltage and high voltage energy transmission lines would increase from 2,000 kilometers to 6,000 kilometers with the aim of improving the nation-wide energy service.

He highlighted choosing Egypt as a sponsor of upgrading and modernizing the power network of Africa.

As regards the development in converting transformers at power generation plants, Shaker asserted that Egypt is seeking to turn into a vital hub for power linkage among three continents, adding that around 50 megawatts will be extended to Sudan during the current month in addition to underway talks with Cyprus and Greece for the power linkage between Africa and Europe.

He also highlighted a categorical leap in the number of built power stations as some 48 stations have already been set up, adding that a memorandum of understanding was clinched between Egypt and Jordan and the Gulf Power Authority to conduct a study of power linkage in the region.

Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker asserted the state's keenness on developing the power linkage grid in African countries and other countries.

Shaker said that EGP 22 billion were allocated to improve the power distribution network and add 7,944 new power generators to the network.

So far, 190 power distributors have been added nationwide, the minister said.

The electricity ministry also allocated EGP 1.7 billion to convert aerial lines into ground cables, the minister said.

The ministry is currently having eight electricity control centers; three under construction and five others have been put out to tender, he said.

Minister Shaker said Egypt ranking on the World Bank's Doing Business report for the Access to Electricity Index has improved, noting that it advanced 19 spots from 96th to 77th.

He stressed that there is development in the electricity services but this does not mean that they are 100 percent satisfactory, for there are still some problems that have already been identified and are being addressed.

Meanwhile, Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi told the gathering at the inauguration ceremony that the ministry is carrying out a number of projects including youth centers and cities, sporting clubs, a stadium as well as a center for civil education that would serve 1.2 million people in the governorate.
He said the civil education center is established on an area of 6,135 square meters at an investment cost of over EGP 28 million with the objective of improving the quality of life for the younger generation by helping the young people to lead a healthy lifestyle and encourage them to exercise more and be capable of enjoying cultural, artistic or sport activities. 
The total cost of development projects in the youth and sport sector in Damietta is estimated at EGP 367 million, he added.

The Youth and Sports Minister also said that a number of development projects are being carried out in sport facilities in Damietta.

He noted that about EGP 41 million was allocated for developing the Damietta Sporting Club and about EGP 22.5 million for Al Zarqa Sports Club.

Damietta Stadium development was also included among national projects, he said.

He added that about EGP 2.460 million was earmarked for promoting youth and sport activities in addition to activating an e-linkage mechanism which has so far covered about 3,516 youth centers nationwide.

Chairman of Damietta Port Authority Walid Awad said Damietta is one of the most important of the Mediterranean Sea harbors, noting that it is close to the Suez Canal port as well as eastern Mediterranean and southern European ports.

Damietta port is Egypt's first harbor to adjust its conditions with environmental standards in line with international criteria, he noted.

Damietta port is the first in the Middle East and Africa to provide docking ships with electricity.

Damietta Port is located 10 km west of the Nile river of Damietta branch westward Ras el Bar, 70 km to the west of Port Said and 200 km from Alexandria Port. The port installations extend on an area of 11.8 sq.km, comprising 3.9 sq.km. water area and 7.9 sq.km. land area.The port has one of the largest LNG export terminals in the world and is one of the world's top 100 container ports. The port also handles bulk and break bulk cargo.

Access to it is via a man-made entrance channel from the north and it is linked to the River Nile by a navigational channel.

Cutting in, President Sisi wondered about means of reducing the waiting period at the Damietta port and how much will it cost and Damietta Port board chairman Walid Awad said the harbor is adopting now a "just-in-time" system to reduce the time vessels spend idling before entering the port, noting that this system aims to help the industry to cut emissions and costs.
He noted that the waiting period average used to be seven days, but now it has been almost halved.
He added that the waiting period is related to navigation traffic and the number of ships crossing the port at the same time.

For his part, head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority major general Ihab el Far said the state seeks to create a new generation of industrialists, support junior investors and startups and pay attention to small and medium-scale industries, by establishing industrial zones to house them and giving them the space they need for the expansion of their businesses.
Far said training has been taken into consideration to create more jobs for youths and contribute to encouraging feeding industries to serve the needs of heavy industrial projects and to achieve self-sufficiency of strategic goods. 
He pointed out that President Sisi assigned the authority to coordinate with the ministries of planning, trade and industry and investment and international cooperation to carry out 45 industrial projects nation-wide at combined costs of EGP 92 billion.
According to him, upon these presidential directives, 22 projects including 12 ready-to-wear clothes factories had been established in Qaliobia along with other projects in Badr, Sadat and Port Said cities, pointing out that another 23 projects, including three in the investment zones in Mit Ghamr, Banha and Saf, are being implemented. 

Minister of Transport Kamal el Wazir said in his address to the audience that the capacity of Damietta port now stands at 37 million tons but the port presently handles 40 million tons, a matter that adds to the waiting period of ships at the quays.
But as of today and after president Sisi has inaugurated the multi-purpose station at the port, its capacity has been increased to reach 40 million tons which would lead to a zero-waiting period, said Wazir.
According to the minister, Damietta port can now receive 25% of Egypt's total maritime trade after increasing its capacity to 40 million tons.
In line with the comprehensive plan of 2030, the capacity of the port will reach 420 million tons with an annual increase estimated at 18 percent, said the minister, praising President Sisi's directives to establish new quays to accommodate more ships.

Head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority Ihab el Far said the furniture city project will help provide more job opportunities for the residents of Damietta governorate.
The project is established on 331 feddans in Shata city near Damietta ports of export, el Far added.
Far explained that the city groups 1,348 factories and workshops for manufacturing furniture and its related complementary industries to help meet the demands of the small manufacturers and investors.
A furniture technology center has been established in the city in addition to five service centers, he noted. 
He highlighted the efforts exerted for implementing a services network in Shata city and establishing a power transformer plant with a capacity of 150 KVA in addition to the 16 ultra-high electrical towers set up outside its borders so as not to hinder the construction works inside it.
A plan has been set to establish administrative and service zones on 58 feddans in the city in addition to investment zones to be set up on 139 feddans, he said. 

A documentary was screened to shed light on a project for developing Lake Manzala which is implemented under the supervision of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority.
Afterwords, Chairman of Damietta Furniture Company Osama Saleh described the furniture city as an integrated national project for furniture and timber industries and their complementary industries as it engages various economic activities.
The project aims to beef up the domestic trade volume of furniture from EGP 12 billion to EGP 35 billion, Saleh underscored.
The project is also implemented with a view to reducing the imports of furniture and timber industries and increase the Egyptian exports in this field, he said, adding that Egypt's furniture exports hit $ 360 million and are expected to reach $2 billion after the full operation of the project.
Commenting on Saleh's remarks, President Sisi agreed that the new construction works of the project would be implemented under the supervision of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority.
Saleh then asserted that strenuous efforts are under way to complete this project in accordance with the plans set.
President Sisi, then, thanked the government and the companies working on the projects he has opened today in Damietta for their great efforts.
Sisi directed the small and medium-sized enterprises agency to offer needed facilities in this regard.


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