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Egypt military 'value engineering' Grand Egyptian Museum

The $1.1bn Egyptian megaproject is due to be inaugurated in 2020

The construction site of Grand Egyptian Museum in December 2018.
© AP Photo / Amr Nabil
The construction site of Grand Egyptian Museum in December 2018.

Egypt’s military is reportedly providing value engineering support for the multibillion-dollar Grand Egyptian Museum. 

According to a report on 23 December, 2018, by Associated Press (AP), the megaproject’s director, Tarek Tawfik, said the military’s contribution has covered the procurement of building items for the museum. AP reported that the military has helped to source “local components like stone cladding and materials to reduce reliance on more expensive imports”. 

Located within Giza, Grand Egyptian Museum is one of the infrastructure projects – alongside the expansion of the Suez Canal and Egypt’s New Administrative Capital – that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is championing. The developments are all expected to boost the economy of Egypt, among the world’s 50 largest countries, as per The World Factbook’s data.

According to AP, initial loans worth $320m were provided by the Japanese government to build the museum in 2006, with another $450m loan provided in 2016. Project costs are currently estimated at $1.1bn, with a bidding process under way “to find someone to operate the site”. 

Project director Tawfik said he was optimistic about the museum’s timely completion, which according to AP will be marked by a “triumphant inauguration in 2020”.

“Today, despite all the increases in costs and the floating of the Egyptian pound, it’s quite amazing that the project will be completed, thanks to good management and value engineering,” Tawfik reportedly said.

Orascom Construction is building the project alongside Belgian builder Besix, of which the Egyptian contractor owns 50% since 2004. Heneghan Peng Architects lists Grand Egyptian Museum among its ongoing projects, with Egypt’s Ministry of Culture as its client. According to the Dublin, Ireland-based practice, RMC has worked as the project’s Cairo architect, with Arup delivering structural, civil, and traffic services alongside Cairo’s Ace. Arup is also involved as Grand Egyptian Museum’s façade engineer. 

Buro Happold and Shaker Engineering from Cairo have provided building services, with Davis Langdon participating for design team management and quantity surveying. Buro Happold’s work on Grand Egyptian Museum also includes information technology, security, fire, and acoustics systems, according to Heneghan Peng Architects. 

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