Also in attendance were Kamel Al-Wazir, Minister of Transport, and Mofid Salah El-Din, the head of the River Transport Authority.
During the meeting, the Egyptian Prime Minister emphasised the importance of implementing the plan to increase the share of river transport within the main transport system in line with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s directives. This step aims to reduce costs and fuel consumption while taking environmental considerations into account.
Egypt’s Minister of Transport presented the details of the plan to develop river transport in all its aspects. The state intends to activate the river transport system by building advanced river units with international standards suitable for the current infrastructure.
According to Al-Wazir, this will bring many benefits, including, reducing diesel consumption by 64%; lowering traffic density on roads and bridges; reducing maintenance costs and accidents, as well as curbing environmental pollution.
He indicated that the river units are manufactured in Egypt with a local component of 80%, which reduces imports.
River transport is one of the sectors identified by the Egyptian authorities in the state ownership policy document as a candidate to accommodate a greater private role.
The UAE has expressed interest in river transport projects in Egypt, with several projects in the negotiating phase. These include a line to transport goods from the city of Minya to Alexandria and Damietta, another line to transport granite from southern Egypt to the north and a passenger transport project in Greater Cairo.
In March 2022, Abu Dhabi Ports Group signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate with Egypt on three projects: building and operating a port in Minya; managing and operating warehouses in Damietta; and equipping, managing, and operating passenger lines in Cairo.
The development proposal for passenger transport includes the construction of 51 pedestrian bridges or alternative vehicles instead of 212 non-mechanical ferries, Al-Wazir indicated.
He added that the plan includes the replacement of 442 advanced ferries with a unified model, the qualification of workers for safe operation and granting them the necessary licenses and raising the efficiency of 408 ports with an advanced unified model.
The plan also includes improving the efficiency of 26 river buses, including 17 in Greater Cairo and 9 in other governorates, from the operating revenue. The use of “amphibious buses” as a civilized means of transport for passengers, especially tourists, is also being studied.
Regarding Nile River ports across Egypt, the Transport Minister indicated that the plan aims to simplify and facilitate procedures by activating a single window to encourage investments in ports and docks within the river transport system.
He added that all necessary approvals to establish river ports in Qena, Sohag, and Asyut have been obtained.
Moreover, the plan includes the development of the infrastructure and the navigational course.
This incorporates removing congestion in the Cairo/Aswan Riverway, which is 953 km long, removing congestion in the Cairo/Alexandria Riverway through Lake Mariut and the Nubaria Canal, which is 220 km long.
It also includes removing congestion in the Cairo/Damietta riverway, which is 240 km long, dredging over 15 million cubic meters from 2015 to 2022, and providing navigational channels and Lake Nasser with navigational aids, including floating buoys and fixed towers.
Source: Daily News Egypt