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Egypt finalizes finances for South Sinai desalination plants

The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) is to loan $100 million to the government of Egypt, completing the finance for five desalination plants in south Sinai.

The agreement was signed by Egypt’s minister of investment and international co-operation, Sahar Nasr, and Abdel Wahab El Badr, director of KFAED, at the annual meeting of Arab financial institutions, which opened in Jordan on 10 April 2018.

The loan completes financing for five plants, for which earlier loan agreements were signed during 2016. The original proposal was to complete five desalination plants, eight pumping stations, and 42 kilometers of pipeline, by 2019.

The largest, with a capacity of 20,000 m3/day, will be located in the town of El Tor, on the West coast of South Sinai, and the other four, each with a capacity of 10,000 m3/day, will be dotted around the peninsular’s coastline at Ras Sedr, AbuZenima, Daha, and Nuwaiba.

Additionally, KFAED is financing a desalination plant at East Port Said, Egypt.

The loans form part of a $900 million, three-year investment program to develop Sinai Peninsula.

Egypt suffers from a water deficit of 30 billion m3; it annually needs at least 90 billion m3 water to cover 90 million citizens’ needs. However, it currently has only 60 billion m3, of which 55.5 billion cubic meters come from the Nile and half a billion cubic meters come from non-renewable subterranean water in the deserts, according Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Ati during the Egypt Can conference.

Abdel-Ati added that the Egyptian population growth is projected to increase 65-75 percent by 2050, posing a major challenge.

A further decrease in Egypt's water resources is expected in the future as a result of building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which will affect Egypt’s share of water.

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