Egypt Builds its First Ship Recycling Facility at Port of Damietta

Shipbreaking in drydock
File image

Published Jun 2, 2024 2:12 PM by The Maritime Executive


Egypt is on course to establish the country’s first ship recycling facility. The Ministry of Transport’s Holding Co. for Maritime and Land Transport(HCMLT), this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with El Wehda Industrial Company for development of a shipbreaking yard at Damietta Port.

Egypt’s Transport Minister Kamel El-Wazir said the partnership is part of a presidential directive to boost public-private cooperation in the transport sector. It is aimed at developing the local iron and steel industry, which currently depends on imported scrap metal. This can now be replaced with locally sourced ship recycling materials.

The ship breaking facility expects to produce 1.5 million tons of scrap over a period of five years, which is equivalent to 66 percent of total scrap the local market requires for production of iron. Currently, Egypt produces about eight million tons of iron annually, against the licensed capacity of 16 million tons – due in part to absence of scrap in the local market. About three million tons of scrap is imported each year, but this is expected to decline with the input from the ship recycling yard.

The facility will cover an area spanning 155,000 square meters, situated in the west of Damietta Port’s western barrier. The project will also include construction of a 1.5 kilometer sea barrier to prevent siltation. As a medium sized yard (categorized as those in the range of 50,000-500,000 square meters), it will have capacity to dismantle ships with a maximum length of 230 meters.

Egypt hopes to become a major ship recycling destination, leveraging its strategic position along major international shipping routes.