The Suez Canal and its surrounding land shall become a strategic hub for logistics and maritime transport on an area of 7,000km, including Suez, Port Said, Ismailia, North and South Sinai. The project is planned to be completed before 2017.
Minister of Housing Tareq Wafik tried to calm analysts and experts that opposed the project by assuring that investors will not be allowed to own lands along the Suez Canal.
Egypt will go through four stages to develop each port in the region:
1. Build container and multi-purpose terminals, where vessels can unload their freight for temporary storage. One vessel will generate 25% more profit (from $75 to $100).
2. Establish distribution centers, where oil and cars will be primarily stored and picked up by other vessels for distribution (Petroleum Terminal – Roll-on and Roll-off term).
3. Construct a bunkering terminal, logistics and service centers in all terminals.
4. Build industrial hubs and logistics centers around the Suez Canal, in order to take in containers and manufacture goods. One vessel will generate revenue of $3,000 instead of $2,000.
The project promises to develop Port Said East, the Technology Valley, the Northwest Gulf of Suez, and Sokhna Port. Today, the Sokhna Port can host up to 1.1 million vessels annually. After its development, it is planned to have the capacity for 1.7 million.
The Adabeya Port will be expanded to reach 180% of its original size by June 2013. It will serve as an example for the other to-be-developed ports.
The Northwest Gulf of Suez will become a hub for several sectors, such as tourism, housing, investment, heavy industry, petrochemicals and trade.
Ismailia will be focusing on tourism, agriculture and industry, offering 216 million job opportunities. The government will offer 69 pieces of land for young investors to encourage them to create small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and will help in creating the Technology Valley – a city based on industries in software development and medical technology, including scientific research centers and academies.
The Suez Canal development project will also connect roads on each side of the waterway through nine different bridges and tunnels.