Hutchison, CMA CGM and COSCO Invest in Expanding Egyptian Terminals
Hutchison Ports confirmed earlier reports that it has reached new agreements with the Egyptian government for an expansion of its container terminal operations in the country. News of this agreement comes just days after Maersk also entered into new agreements with the Suez Canal Authority to expand the operations of the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) that it operates as a joint venture with Egypt through Maersk’s terminal company APM.
The agreement with Hutchison calls for a total investment of $700 million for the initial operations of terminals in Ain Sokhna Port located near the southern terminus of the Suez Canal and the El Dekheila Port in western Egypt near Alexandria. Maersk’s SCCT is located near Port Said in the Mediterranean near the northern terminus of the canal.
Hutchison has been operating in Egypt since 2005. With the new projects, the company says its total investment in Egypt will be over $1.5 billion. CMA CGM and COSCO Shipping Ports will be joining Hutchison for the project in Sokhna and Terminal Investment Limited for the project in El Dekheila.
“We have been operating in Egypt for almost 20 years, and it has always been an extremely important market to us, not only because it is located at the crossroads of one of the busiest east-west trade lanes but also the young and very energetic population of the country will result in increasing demand for international trade,” said Eric Ip, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Ports. “We look forward to working closely with the Egyptian Government to develop these port projects to their full potential to provide first class service to all the stakeholders.”
Separately, Maersk agreed to invest $500 million in the container terminal it has operated in Egypt since 2004. The company will be adding a new wharf as well as more cranes and exploring the use of technology to turn the operation into a smart port.
Hapag is also working on the development of a new terminal in Egypt. This container terminal will be built not far from Port Said and the northern terminus of the Suez Canal. Hapag reported it would enter operations by 2024 with a capacity of 3.3 million TEU.
All the companies are targeting the expansion of their African trade. The goal is to also develop transshipment hubs servicing the growing trade in the Mediterranean.