Egypt’s public-private partnership (PPP) Central Unit is preparing to begin the prequalification process for the planned Safaga Industrial Port PPP in the next two months.

According to a senior source at the PPP Central Unit, the aim is for the prequalification process to begin from late July to early August.

The project will involve developing and upgrading the Safaga mining port under a PPP structure. The scheme will involve developing a platform for exporting phosphate, with eight additional platforms to receive bigger vessels and establishing facilities for three more industries: exporting phosphoric acid, importing and exporting of grains and importing livestock.

IFC, part of the US-based World Bank, is the transaction and financial adviser, with Netherlands-based MTBS having been appointed as technical adviser.

Egypt has struggled to make progress with a number of PPP projects since the launch of the PPP law in 2010 and the establishment of the PPP Central Unit. The programme faced delays in 2011 following the overthrow of then-president Hosni Mubarak, and has faced problems recently with currency issues and land allocation for some of the planned schemes.

The problems were illustrated in February when MEED reported that plans had been dropped to develop the Abu Rawash wastewater treatment plant under the PPP model, more than 20 months after initial contracts had been signed with a consortium in August 2015.

However, progress is being made with some projects in 2017. MEED recently reported that the PPP Central Unit was planning to reopen the prequalification for the country’s first transport PPP, the Nile River Bus Ferry scheme, by the end of July following a restructuring of the project.