Egyptian Transport Minister Mohamed Mansour has announced a new EGP30bn ($5.4bn) plan to accelerate the East Port Said project.

The new phase will include construction of the 87-kilometre industrial zone included in the masterplan for the port, revealed in 2007 (MEED 13:4:07).

Mansour says the port will also receive a new terminal for container and liquid cargos with capacity for 15 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Work is scheduled to begin in 2010.

The Suez Canal has enjoyed record traffic and cargo volumes in recent years, although the current global economic downturn has forced the Suez Canal Authority to revise its tariffs (MEED 24:10:08).