Earlier this month, Assem al-Gazzar, Egypt’s Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, said that his ministry is considering collaborating with the private sector in seawater desalination endeavours, reports the Egypt Independent. The objectives are obtaining the most benefit from available water resources, as well as enhancing services for the public in the country.
The Ministry of Housing has a national strategic plan to ensure efficient drinking water services. Collaborating with the private sector forms part of the strategy.
The words of Mr Gazzar came as he met with a delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) visiting Egypt, led by EBRD’s Vice President Alain Pilloux. He said his ministry is keen on cooperating with the private sector in several projects.
At the meeting between EBRD representatives and government officials, the parties had the opportunity to talk about joint efforts in the area of water, including seawater desalination projects, as well as a national strategy to provide drinking water and sanitation, which the ministry is working on at the moment. They also looked at joint water and sanitation projects, and projects coordinated through the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), Egypt’s agency in charge of developing new cities.
Mr Pilloux expressed the EBRD’s interest in further collaboration, with the water sector and with the NUCA. The bank has investments in the country worth 5.3 billion euros, comprising 99 projects in different sectors. The private sector has a 58% share of the total investments.