by Maye Kabil
Although the new lane of Suez Canal was financed only by Egyptians and implemented mainly by Egyptian companies as promised on the announcement of the project last year, gulf companies had important contribution, and are planning for further input in the coming phases of developing the Canal zone.
An international consortium led by UAE-based National marine Dredging Company (NMDC) was awarded a contract in October to work on dredging the new parallel channel. The consortium consists of National Marine Dredging Company as the lead partner with Boskalis, Van Oord and Jan De Nul.
The second phase of developing the Canal zone will witness more involvement of gulf companies. The consortium that was awarded to put the master plan of developing Suez Canal corridor consisted already of an Egyptian and a Bahraini based company, which is Dar al-Handasah. It was chosen from 14 candidates to develop the project.
This plan is intending to transform the Suez Canal waterway surrounding into a hub of international investment and free trade zones. It will be announced during the opening ceremony of the new waterway tomorrow, and starts to be implemented on the 7th of August according to governmental statements.
Many gulf companies showed interest to invest in this mega project during the international economic conference, which was held in Sharm al-Sheikh in March. They are waiting for the final plan to be announced.
The investment minister Ashraf Salman said to the media that Gulf and European states have a great desire to invest in Suez Canal axes’ projects in different sectors. Saudi firms for example have a trend to invest in energy and seawater desalination projects, says the minister.
While Emirati firms are interested to invest in logistics zones, and Kuwaiti firms are targeting commercial zones.