Although Egypt’s infrastructure is still relatively underdeveloped compared to some neighboring Middle East nations, the country has made strides in the past decade, particularly in regard to its quality of trade and transportation infrastructure. Between 2010 and 2018, Egypt improved its World Bank Logistic Performance Index score from 2.22 to 2.82 and world ranking from 106th to 58th. Since then, several projects have been approved in energy and healthcare, among other sectors. Below are five recent headlines concerning infrastructure and construction in Egypt.
World’s Largest Wastewater Treatment Plant
The world’s largest wastewater treatment plant will soon be situated in El-Hammam, Egypt. A joint venture between Orascom Construction, The Arab Contractors, and Hassan Allam, the agricultural wastewater treatment plant will be designed and operated by Metito, which has developed sustainable water management solutions worldwide for more than six decades.
Once complete, the plant will have a capacity of 6 million cubic meters of water per day. This will be achieved by collecting agricultural drainage water in areas north of the Nile Delta and diverting it to the plant via a 120-square-kilometer-long course.
The project is a major component of the government’s plans to develop the Western Desert region into an agricultural hub. Once treated, the water will irrigate as many as 500,000 feddans (about 519,000 acres) to the west of the Nile Delta.
Orascom to Build Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre
The aforementioned wastewater treatment plant isn’t the only major project in Egypt being constructed in part by Orascom Construction. The Egyptian Stock Exchange-listed company was selected in March 2021 to build the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Centre in 6th of October City. Foster + Partners designed the medical building and the Yacoub Heart Foundation awarded the build contract to Orascom.
Located on a 15-hectare plot of land bordering the Zewail City of Science and Technology, the hospital will have 300 beds and will be an integral component of a comprehensive medical and health research zone. It will be the largest cardiac care healthcare facility in the region and provide services to patients throughout the Arab world at no cost. Planned features include eight first-floor intensive care units, a large outpatient clinic, an accident and emergency department, and several courtyards to enhance natural lighting. Named after an Egyptian-British cardiac surgeon, it will have capacity to serve more than 120,000 patients per year.
Kom Ombo Solar Power Plant Receives Funding
Egypt’s electricity demands have increased substantially in recent years at an annual average rate of 7 percent. To help meet this increased demand, the country is developing a 200 MW photovoltaic solar power plant in the Upper Egypt region of Kom Ombo. Estimated at a total cost of $156.4 million, the project is being funded by the Green Climate Fund, Arab Bank, OPEC Fund for International Development, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the African Development Bank. The latter approved a $27.2 million senior loan for the project in March 2021.
In addition to meeting energy demands, the solar plant will create 800 construction jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7 million tCO2e equivalent through 25 years. Owned by the Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power, the plant is a central component of Egypt’s Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy and the country’s efforts to achieve a 20 percent share of renewable energy sources by 2022.
Construction Starts on the Skylight Mall in New Administrative Capital
Another major ongoing project in Egypt is the $16 million Skylight Mall in the New Administrative Capital. The two-story, 3,000-square-meter mall is being constructed by Egyptian developer Mardev Developments and is expected to be completed near the end of 2022. It will have more than 80 stores.
Located less than 50 kilometers east of Cairo, the $58 billion New Administrative Capital was initiated in 2015. The development features the second-largest mosque in the world as well as a range of arts and culture venues, including the Middle East’s largest opera house and several cinemas, libraries, and museums.
Leaders in Construction Conference Announced
The global construction industry has taken note of Egypt’s megaprojects and infrastructure spending initiatives. As a result, Construction Week is taking its regional conference series to Cairo for the first time on July 14, 2021. In the past, the publication has hosted similar conferences in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
The half-day Leaders in Construction Egypt Summit will take place at the JW Marriott and include the following four panel discussions: The Evolution of New Cities in Egypt, The Opportunities for Water Projects, Growth of PPPs within Egypt, and Egypt’s Acceleration of its Infrastructure Sector.
Projects and infrastructure of note that will be discussed include the New Administrative Capital and its airport, the Cairo metro line, and Egypt’s desalination plants. The conference will feature a yet-to-be-decided keynote speaker and will be moderated by Construction Week editor Ashley Williams. Orascom Construction and Hassan Allam, two of the largest construction companies in Egypt, are sponsoring the event.