Public-private partnership regulations to be issued in September

The Finance Ministry's Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Central Unit has finalized draft regulations for proposed legislation governing partnerships between the public and private sectors, to be submitted to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif for approval. If the regulations receive the approval of the PM, they are expected to come into effect by September of this year.

PPP Central Unit head Rania Zayed told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the regulations would serve to revitalize the local economy through the implementation of public-private partnership projects in the fields of transportation, public health, potable water and desalination. Previously, the private sector had been banned from carrying out projects related to mineral resources, and had therefore been unable to carry out national water projects.

According to Zayed, negotiations are ongoing between the Central Unit and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to exempt partnership projects from credit ceilings for a single client–a policy implemented by Egyptian banks upon orders from the CBE.

Zayed said that the CBE had pledged to examine the possibility of allowing banks to grant PPP projects loans amounting to more than 25 percent of their overall capital. She added that three projects would be implemented as soon as the regulations were officially issued, including two sewage treatment stations–in Abu Rawwash and 6th October City–and a road corridor in Rod el-Farag. Zayed went on to cite a list of potential public-private partnership projects in the fields of education, public health and utilities and roads.

Educational projects, meanwhile, have reportedly been delayed due to a lack of interested investors. The London-based KPMG consulting firm is in the process of restructuring the initiative with the aim of attracting more investors.     

In terms of the utilities sector, Zayed pointed out that a drainage water treatment project in 6th October City had been proposed in May after ten construction conglomerates were qualified to bid on the contract to build and operate the station. Another five conglomerates were qualified in March to bid on a contract for boosting the efficiency of the drainage water station at Abu Rawwash.

The list also includes road projects, including the construction, operation and  maintenance of the proposed 34-kilometer Rod al-Farag corridor, which will link Cairo's Ring Road to the Cairo-Alexandria desert road. The project will be proposed during fourth quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, the ministries of housing, utilities and urban development are currently preparing a memorandum on a proposed Seawater Desalination Station in Hurghada to provide the city with its water needs. The project is expected to be proposed at a date to be announced later. 

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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