Global port operator Hutchison Ports intends to compete for a larger market in Egypt and use its operations as an additional base to build Mediterranean trade. The company has signed an agreement to invest $700 million in new terminals at two ports in a project designed to create a comprehensive logistics container hub linking the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.
The Hong Kong-based operator announced that the huge investment will lead to the development of a new container terminal at the port of Ain Sokhna, which will have a capacity of 1.7 million TEU. The new terminal will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment to provide efficient and reliable services to customers.
The investment program will also include the development of B100, a new container terminal at the port of Alexandria that will serve as a gateway to the Egyptian market.
Hutchison Ports said these projects will bring total investment in Egypt to over $1.5 billion and provide a solid foundation for the company’s strategy to expand the network and enhance its capabilities in emerging markets. The company’s throughput capacity in its port operations in Egypt currently stands at 800,000 TEU.
The signing of the investment contract comes after the company concluded initial concession contracts for the operation of the container terminals in August last year. Hutchison Ports has partnered with CMA CGM and COSCO Shipping in the new project, the ultimate goal of which is to create a major transport hub that will be the largest logistics corridor serving global trade, particularly between Asia, Europe and Africa.
This is because the new container terminal in Sohna will give a significant boost to Egypt’s maritime trade as it is strategically located on the Red Sea and offers direct access to major shipping routes. The B100 container terminal will provide a new entrance to the Port of Alexandria, which is one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean and a key hub for trade between Europe, Asia and Africa. Alexandria is Egypt’s oldest seaport and handles about 65 percent of the country’s inbound and outbound trade.
The link is expected to create more than 2,000 direct jobs for Egyptians and many indirect jobs, as the logistics axis will include internal freight transport via the country’s high-speed electric trains, thus connecting production and consumption areas, logistics centers and dry ports.
“We are delighted to announce our investment in Sokhna and B100, which reflects our commitment to Egypt and the wider African market. These investments will enable us to provide high-quality services to our customers and contribute to the growth and development of the local economy,” said Eric Ip, director of Hutchison Ports Group.
Hutchison Ports’ investment in Egypt comes as the country implements a comprehensive scheme to upgrade its 17 commercial ports to boost trade and secure new export markets. Increasing the competitiveness of its seaports will allow Egypt to attract more shipping lines and local and foreign investment. Maersk, MSC, Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM have announced plans to increase capacity in Egypt as the country positions itself as a trading hub for the Mediterranean.