Egypt Independent: Economy-Main news en Negotiations with OPEC to build power plants <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: normal;">A senior official said the government agreed to negotiate with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) to build power plants within the development plan that was devised by the Ministry of Planning.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: normal;">Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said the Ministry of Electricity was assigned to hold the negotiations, especially that the fund is attending the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna in the coming few days.&nbsp;</span></p><div>He said there are seven areas suggested for the power plants that he did not specify, adding that the fund had financed successful project with the Egyptian government before.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt had earlier signed a loan of $70 million with the OPEC fund to finance part of the South Helwan power plant.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Established in 1976, the fund seeks to strengthen cooperation between OPEC member states and other developing countries.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:37:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2438529 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/06/02/484151/193811_0.jpg Suez Canal revenues up 8 percent in July <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: normal;">The Cabinet Information and Decision Support Center said Suez Canal revenues rose in July by 8.6 percent to US$482.2 million versus $443.9 million in June, and by 12.3 percent compared to July 2013, which amounted to $429.2 million.</span></p><div>In its economic and social indicators report that was issued on Sunday, the center said the total number of ships crossing the Suez Canal in July rose by 8.4 percent to 1,451 ships versus 1,338 ships in June and 1,360 ships in July 2013.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The tonnage during the same period rose by 6.7 percent to 82.6 million tons versus 77.4 million.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Also, the number of oil tankers that have passed the canal in July rose by 5.1 percent to 332 tankers versus 316 tankers in June.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 12:10:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2438510 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/08/25/484151/205455_0.jpg Law firm: Egypt must cut red tape to win investors in second Suez canal <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Egypt must strip back bureaucracy to attract investment in its planned second Suez canal and bring in new laws making it easier for companies to get licences and land, a legal firm linked to the project said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt plans to build the new canal alongside the existing 145-year-old historic waterway in a multi-billion dollar project aimed at expanding trade along the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Suez Canal already earns Egypt about $5 billion a year in revenues, a vital source of hard currency for a country that has suffered a slump in tourism and foreign investment since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The new channel is part of a larger project to expand Suez port and develop 76,000 sq km (29,000 sq miles) around the canal into an international industrial and logistics hub.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;If we want this project to work, and attract investors, we need to escape bureaucracy and make the licensing process easier,&quot; said Hani Sarie-Eldin, head of Sarie-Eldin &amp; Partners, part of a consortium advising the government on the project.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He said the government should issue new laws giving the new canal a special status, removing obstacles to investment that have undermined previous ventures in the biggest Arab nation.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>His firm was already drawing up drafts of the legislation that could be used, he told <em>Aswat Masriya</em>, a news website sponsored by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Officials have said the new development would boost annual revenues from the Suez Canal, which is operated by the state-owned Suez Canal Authority, to $13.5 billion by 2023.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt&#39;s central bank governor told Reuters on Monday it had taken just eight days to raise the $8.5 billion needed to fund the project.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Suez Canal is the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia and is a strategic asset for Egypt, a key US ally which has a peace treaty with Israel.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Though a measure of political stability has been restored since former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was elected president in May, investment has yet to return to pre-uprising levels.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Sarie-Eldin said that further clarity on future tax and energy policies will boost investment in Egypt more broadly.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Investors are all in a state of alert currently towards the situation in Egypt,&quot; Sarie-Eldin said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;(They) need to see a clear declaration about taxes, energy and the direction of the government&#39;s economic policy during Egypt&#39;s next phase,&quot; he added.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Power cuts dogging Egypt have become the biggest obstacle to luring back foreign investment after three years of political upheaval, the country&#39;s investment minister told Reuters on Tuesday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Electricity shortages mean the country often has intermittent outages for hours a day, frustrating many Egyptians and raising questions over whether foreign firms can operate here effectively.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Sarie-Eldin was an adviser to the presidential campaign of former army chief Sisi in the run-up to the election before joining the Suez Canal consortium.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;There is no relationship between the winning consortium for the Suez Canal project and my former role on the advisory board for President Sisi,&quot; Sarie-Eldin said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;The selection process has been completely transparent, through the office of a French consultant nominated by the World Bank.&quot;</div> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 01:25:00 +0000 Reuters 2438506 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/08/25/484151/205455_0.jpg Russia’s Gazprom to supply Egypt with liquified natural gas shipments <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-bfdaf29c-7981-bb45-2a10-fe1627d4c4a3" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5em; background-color: transparent;">Trade and Industry Ministry Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour announced on Monday that the Russian Gazprom agreed to provide Egypt with seven liquified natural gas shipments. Neither quantity or time were revealed.</span></p><br /><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">&ldquo;Egypt will receive the first shipment in early December,&rdquo; the minister told the Russian Prime news agency, adding that Gazprom has signed a contract with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).</span></p><br /><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">Egypt has also offered that Gazprom takes part in tenders to explore oil and gas fields in the country. </span></p><br /><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">&ldquo;The company has received suggestions, but has not participated in tenders yet. We intend to cooperate with Gazprom in any format,&rdquo; Abdel Nour added.</span></p><br /><br /><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:15px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:italic;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">Edited translation from MENA</span></p> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:30:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2438433 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/08/26/484151/241264_0.jpg