The first phase of construction of Egypt’s new capital city kicked off on Saturday, announced Minister of Housing Moustafa Madbouly.
“Four construction companies have been mandated to implement the infrastructure of the new capital,” said Madbouly according to MENA news agency.
Up to 1.5 million new job opportunities will arise as a result of the construction of the first phase of Egypt’s new capital city, revealed Mohsen Salah, the head of Arab Contractors in an interview with Youm7 in February.
Construction of Egypt’s new capital city is reportedly being carried out by an Egyptian-Chinese alliance which includes Arab Contractors, the Petroleum Projects and Technical Consultations Company, and the China State Construction Engineering Corporation.
However, the Housing Minister said that Egypt will be accepting bids for private companies to take part in the first phase of construction. The Minister also said that Chinese companies will be providing Egyptian contractors with loans to finance the construction of a number of buildings in the new capital city, including 14 new government buildings and a major conference center.
China’s involvement came after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Cairo to boost bilateral economic and political ties. During his visit, Jinping expressed China’s willingness to support Egypt’s efforts to construct a new capital city.
History of Egypt’s New Capital City
Plans to build Egypt’s new capital city were temporarily halted in 2015 after disagreements over the cost of the project and how long it would take.
The UAE company that had been announced as the developer of the project, Capital City Partners, apparently pulled out of the project despite leading its marketing and launch at the Egyptian Economic Development Conference. However, according to Egypt’s government, Egypt cancelled the Memorandum of Understanding with the company after a ‘lack of progress’.
Nevertheless, President Sisi was keen to see the project completed and ordered the government sign a new agreement with China State Construction Engineering Corporation. Following the signing of the agreement, President Sisi announced that the first phase of the project would be completed within just two years.
At the time of the project’s launch, the new capital city was dubbed as a ‘global city for Egypt’s future’ and ‘a city shaped by nature’, with a reliance on renewable energy.
The new capital city promises housing to five million people and will also include a new central business district with hotels, shopping centers, theme parks and more.
However, the $US 45 billion project, which is set to be completed within 12 years, is primarily aimed at transferring Ministries, government buildings and foreign embassies from down-town Cairo to the new capital and would be established on the Suez-Cairo-Ain Sokhna road.