The Egyptian government is seeking investors for up to £E130bn ($23.8bn) of infrastructure projects over the next 18 months.

According to Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin, the government wants to award £E120-130bn worth of projects before the end of June 2011, with contractors completing most of the work by the end of June 2012.

The Investment Ministry has drawn up a draft document, which MEED has seen, outlining new projects worth nearly £E82bn in a range of sectors.

The infrastructure spending programme includes a further £E32bn worth of projects that the Investment Ministry launched in the first half of 2009 and expects to award by the end of June next year.

The ministry will announce a further £E6-16bn worth of infrastructure projects over the next 12 months as individual ministries identify their spending priorities.

The programme of projects is the first time that Cairo has created a package of deals it can market to potential investors.

It wants local companies, Gulf businesses and investors from further afield, such as China, Europe and Malaysia, to bid for work on the projects.

Cairo is focusing on infrastructure deals because it believes they will attract foreign direct investment at a time when investors around the world are spending less.

“We see a change of interest on the part of investors towards investment in tangibles, such as infrastructure projects,” says Mohieldin. “There is also a desperate need to improve infrastructure in some regions of Egypt.”

The two main areas of activity are tourism and ports, where the Investment Ministry is seeking to award projects worth £E24.6bn and £E15bn respectively.

The Tourism Ministry is sponsoring two megaprojects to create new tourism developments at Ras el-Hekma and a site just east of El-Alamein. Both sites are in Marsa Matruh governorate on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.

The Ras el-Hekma project will cover 10.5 square kilometres and have 3,000 hotel rooms. It will cost £E12bn.

The Tourism Ministry has yet to release details of the size of the second development, but has set a £E10bn price tag for the project.

The ministry wants to attract £E15bn in investment for 13 port projects on the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts, and along the length of the Nile.