Middle East

Negotiations start over SCCT contract extension

Cairo: Egyptian authorities are in dialogue with officials running the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SSCT) over a contract extension worth up to $1.5bn.

SCCT is 55% owned by APM Terminals. The contract extension is for 14 years and as part of the negotiations Egypt is willing to drop certain charges in return for SCCT builing a new berth.

SCCT will also be given the go ahead to begin using a side channel giving small containerships in the Mediterranean direct access to East Port Said, separate from the Suez Canal entrance. This should allow the port to handle up to 80 ships a week, up from the current figure of 50.

SCCT also wants Egypt to deepen the main port to 16 m from the current 15.5 m, something the government will only consider once the dredging of the new Suez Canal is completed next year.  [25/11/14]

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