Egypt's plans to build an international industrial and logistics hub close to the Suez Canal on 76,000 square kilometres of land, to boost business development, has taken a major step forwards. It is to choose the winning bid after putting the project out to tender.
The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has selected 14 Egyptian and international joint venture consortia, out of 33 groups who responded to the initial tender, to submit master plans for the Suez Canal Regional Development Project (SCRDP), reports Lloyds List.
The retained international consultancy firms include Worley Parsons, Witteveen + Bos, AECOM Middle East, Scott Brownrigg, Port Consultants Rotterdam BV and McKinsey & Co.
The authority will choose the preferred bid within three months.
The winning consortia would have six months to draw up its project in detail before being presented to Egypt's cabinet. If all goes to plan, infrastructure work on the project would commence in early 2015.
The SCA's president, Mohab Mameesh, has underlined that the SCRDP will increase the canal's revenues considerably which total around US$5 billion annually.
In the first half of last year the number of container ships transiting the canal declined by 5.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2012 to 3,007 vessels, according to figures from the SCA.