President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi laid the first stone of the New Administrative Capital east of Cairo on Wednesday. With an area of 170,000 feddans, the new capital will include 20 residential areas expected to accommodate 6.5 million people and a 650-km road network. The capital will include an international airport and an electric train to link it with the 10th of Ramadan and El-Salam cities.
It will feature 1,250 mosques and churches, a 5,000-seat conference center, nearly 2,000 schools and colleges, over 600 medical facilities, and a park that is projected to be the world’s largest.
The New Administrative Capital is located in the area between the Cairo-Suez and Cairo-Ain Sokhna roads, east of the regional ring road. Its location is roughly 60 km from the cities of Suez and Ain Sokhna.
The Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD) is 51% owned by the Egyptian Armed Forces and 49% by the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA). The paid-up capital of the company amounts to EGP 20bn, including contributions from the armed forces and NUCA, and its authorised capital is EGP 204bn.
Daily News Egypt sat down with ACUD spokesperson Khaled El Hosseini to talk about the development of the project and ongoing infrastructure works.
What is the developmental status of the government district of the New Administrative Capital?
We have completed 40% of the government district’s construction.
The government district will house the presidency and parliament and they are to be transferred to the new capital by mid-2019.
With regard to the embassies district at the capital, what are its updates?
The embassies district is on an area of 1,600 feddans. It will be divided into unequal areas ranging between 1 to 20 feddans for each embassy.
On 21 March, the ACUD held a conference at the premises of the ACUD for 180 diplomats from 80 countries to inform them of developments in the New Administrative Capital during the past two years and our plans for the coming period.
After that, we will specify the price for each feddan.
Which embassies expressed interest in acquiring land to transfer their premises to the capital?
All embassies expressed their desire to transfer their premises to the capital. Moreover, we cannot oblige them to transfer their embassies, but them moving depends on their desire to or not.
What is the price to be set per feddan?
For the pricing of land in the capital in general, a committee was created to price the land, which has held two sessions. The first session was held for the first offering of lands, and then a second session was held to evaluate the prices for further offerings. The committee is headed by the company and includes specialists in pricing evaluation. The committee will evaluate and define prices for each activity: residential, commercial, administrative, and for the embassies district.
With every offering, the committee will be held to set new prices for every activity inside the capital.
What are the updates regarding the monorail and the electric train?
The capital project is currently close to being linked to other cities through the implementation of the electric train project, which is scheduled to launch with a Chinese loan worth $2.3bn. The project’s procedures have already begun and the electric train is scheduled to extend to the heart of the new capital. Further, the extension of the project came in accordance with the requirements stipulated by the ACUD to link the capital with other means of transport commensurate with its level of development.
We hope that, after finishing the government district, the train will be ready and in full operation to transport citizens.
The second project to connect the New Administrative Capital with the new cities is a monorail. The Ministries of Housing and Transport have started seeking investors to submit their offers during the coming period. The selection of companies is expected within one month after the submission of bids, with a planned completion of the project within two years.
The ACUD announced that it will provide citizens with an affordable transport system. What are the steps that have been taken in that regard?
The company has received several offers for the implementation of mass transport projects in the city. The most prominent offer was from an Italian company in addition to some French companies. These offers are being evaluated in order to implement means of internal transport to connect the new capital to Cairo.
The company also has also received offers from several Egyptian companies for the implementation of mass transport projects, which are good offers. There are companies that have offered means of transport that are environmentally friendly, such as providing buses and cars run by natural gas or electricity, to suit the planned sustainability goals of the new capital.
The company is currently negotiating with some foreign companies to determine the price of bus tickets. The foreign companies that have offered means of transport in the capital do not take into account the demographic they are targeting when valuing the fare price. However, the AUCD takes into account, in its negotiations with the companies to determine appropriate ticket prices, that the price be suited to the needs of citizens, especially since the capital is planned to include all segments of society. This necessitates the company’s management to provide transportation at prices that suit the capabilities of citizens.
The AUCD plans for the commercial district, the Central Business District, to be home to the tallest tower in Africa, in addition to some other towers. What are the updates regarding the project?
The Central Business District (CBD) at the New Administrative Capital will include a 345-metre tower, the tallest in Africa. It is a 120-floor skyscraper being implemented by a China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) with a world-class hotel, residential units, swimming pools, a commercial area, Africa’s largest car showroom, and a helicopter landing pad. The CBD will be the commercial heart of the city.
The Chinese company has already started the implementation of the district. The update is that the project was originally supposed to be built on 170 feddans, but the company demanded a 26-feddan extension to the area and we approved the extension. The district will be fully complete in three years.
What is the status of the city’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges?
We have not had any problems in the implementation of roads and bridges and we have made great achievements in this regard, represented by the completion of 60% of the city’s roads and bridges.
With regards to other infrastructure, we have different rates of achievement.
For the sanitation services, we divided the sanitation system into three phases. The first phase will be connected to the residential neighbourhoods north of the city and will reach the ring road and we have completed 40% of this phase. In addition, we have developed 10% of the second phase but we did not start implementation of the third phase of sanitation.
I do not believe that we will start implementing the third phase in the current year. Nevertheless, we are working on the first two phases in parallel.
Moreover, we do not have any problems with electricity services, as the New Administrative Capital power plant, with capacity of 4,800 MW, which is being implemented by Siemens, will supply the capital with sufficient power. In addition, we are establishing three lower-voltage plants.
We are currently implementing a gas plant, in addition to a water plant, which already exists and supplies 125,000 cubic metres of water per day, as well as establishing a water pumping station, which will also pump 125,000 cubic metres of water per day.
What is the cost of infrastructure for the capital?
Infrastructure of the first phase, which constitutes 40,000 feddans, reaches EGP 130bn.
What are other activities the company is working on?
We are now examining technical offers submitted by 13 companies to participate in building the smart infrastructure of the capital.
Moreover, it is planned for 63 schools to be built. Meanwhile, six universities have already been built and we are planning for another four universities. By the way, in mid-April, the Canadian International College will inaugurate its work in the capital.
Also, we are establishing a knowledge city, similar to Smart Village. The city will be established to host research, innovation, and entrepreneurship centres focusing on the fields of advanced digital technologies, like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, embedded systems, and electronic design.