Mubarak oversees growth of box movements at the Suez Canal

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Hosni Mubarak, the President of the Egypt, has visited the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) to review the ongoing development and expansion plans of the five-year old facility. He was accompanied by a delegation of senior Egyptian Government Officials including Prime Minister, Dr Ahmed Nazif and the Governor of Port Said, General Mostafa Abd El Latif.

With a throughput of 2.4 million TEUs in 2008, the SCCT is Egypt’s largest container facility and has quickly become one of the busiest and most important terminals in the Mediterranean Region since opening in 2004.

Development of the transport sector is one of Egypt’s key priorities and proactive initiatives in support of infrastructure and foreign investment have resulted in the expenditure of $3.6 billion in the Egyptian maritime sector between 2006 and 2008. An additional $3.4bn is planned for overall maritime sector investment between 2009 and 2011.

Improved access to foreign markets and the development of Port Said and SCCT, a highly successful example of a Public/Private Partnership, into an increasingly important centre for containerised trade both domestically and as a transshipment hub have been fostered by Egypt’s significant tax and economic reforms over the past five years. Phase I and Phase II of SCCT represent a combined investment of approximately $1bn.

Covering an area of 600,000 square meters (148 acres), SCCT saw container volume surge by 34% in 2008 to 2.4m TEUs. SCCT’s container traffic and transhipment growth has continued during 2009, even as the overall global container trade has declined. A new monthly record of 161,477 was established for container moves in August, exceeding the previous record, set in June, by over 11,000 moves. Overall growth for 2009 has been forecast at 13%.

The current Phase II expansion plans for SCCT will increase annual throughput capacity to 5.4m TEUs by 2012, creating the largest single terminal in the Mediterranean. Local container volume quadrupled in 2008, while SCCT handles approximately a 20% share of all Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea transhipment moves. SCCT currently ranks fifth among all Mediterranean ports in terms of container volume and 35th globally.