Citadel Invests $183 Million Into River Ports

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital (CCAP.CA) has invested 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($183 million) in three Nile river ports and wants to invest in two more in the country, the daily al-Mal reported on Sunday.

The firm is also eyeing investments in Sudanese river ports, and plans to link its port network to Juba in southern Sudan from Egypt’s northern seaport city of Alexandria within the next four or five years, al-Mal added.

State news agency MENA on Saturday quoted Egypt’s transport minister as saying Egypt hopes to boost cargo transported via the Nile to 40 million tonnes within the next five years from 2.5 million tonnes currently.

The government said in 2008 it expects an extra $8.9 billion in private investment in Egypt’s transport sector over three years, and in 2009 said it wants 20 percent of cargo in Egypt transported via the Nile and railroads within the next four or five years.

The government will tender several river ports as part of its plan to encourage investment by the private sector, MENA quoted Transport Minister Alaa Fahmy as saying.

Citadel on Saturday inaugurated Tanash river port in northern Cairo, which will send imported wheat from Alexandria to silos in Cairo and various governorates, MENA said. Egypt is the world’s largest wheat importer.

The 27,500 square metre Tanash port can receive up to 2 million tonnes of grain and goods, and 110,000 containers. Its quay wall is 3,200 metres in length, MENA added.

In addition to Tanash, Citadel is developing a second port in southern Cairo and a third in Alexandria. The firm is looking for suitable land on which to develop two more river ports. (Writing by Shaimaa Fayed; Editing by Kazunori Takada)