By Richard Adorsu-
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Accra GHANA- IFC announced an investment in a second container terminal at Egypt’s Damietta Port that is expected to triple the port’s capacity when complete in 2025, supporting trade and economic activity in the region and creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs during the construction and operational stages.
The project will support the development of a superstructure and other infrastructure at Damietta port, tripling its capacity to handle containers, while reducing the cost and time of trade.
Damietta has a strategic geographical location in the East Mediterranean that is an important transit point for trade routes between Europe and Asia.
The co-financing package of $455 million is for Damietta Alliance Container Terminals, a special purpose vehicle established by Eurogate, Contship Italia, MELC Group, Ship & C.R.E.W, and Hapag Lloyd. Hapag Lloyd, the world’s fifth-largest shipping company, has undertaken a 20-year commitment to direct a portion of its East-Mediterranean traffic to the new terminal.
The financing includes a loan of $120 million from IFC and loans of $125 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); $100 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); $60 million from the German development finance institution (DEG); and $50 million from Proparco.
“Concluding the financing for this landmark project is a major step towards bringing the venture to life. Accessing long-term financing in the region is of particular importance now more than ever given current circumstances. The commitment, guidance, and advice we received from IFC were exceptional and remain a crucial element of the facility,” said Thomas Henrichs, Senior Director Asset and Corporate Finance at Hapag-llyod.
“Egypt has a vital strategic trade role connecting regions across the globe,” said Cheick-Oumar Sylla, IFC’s Regional Director for North Africa and the Horn of Africa. “IFC is proud to help expand Damietta Port, supporting trade and economic development in Egypt and the wider region.”
IFC will also provide capacity building to help Damietta Alliance Container Terminals strengthen its environmental and social management system, including processes to oversee safe and healthy working conditions, and manage the project works in line with IFC’s Performance Standards.
The project aligns with the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework for Egypt, which aims to support more and better private sector jobs in the country, among other objectives, creating conditions for green, resilient, and inclusive development.
Since beginning its operations in Egypt, IFC has invested and mobilized approximately US$ 8 billion in investment projects and has an advisory portfolio amounting US$ 30 million in Egypt, which have supported the private sector in key areas such as access to finance, fintech, climate finance, manufacturing, infrastructure and renewable energy, healthcare, and gender.
For New Africa Business News Richard Adorsu Reports, Africa Correspondent