IDB to fund $4bn of Egyptian spending

Cash will cover projects including Saudi grid connections, Sharm airport expansion and refinery upgrade

NEWS, Business, Airport expansion, Egypt, Electricity, Islamic Development Bank, Refinery, Saudi Arabia, Sharm El Sheikh

Egypt has signed a number of funding deals with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) worth $4bn at its Egypt: The Future economic development conference held in Sharm El Sheikh over the weekend.

The deal includes a $3bn agreement covering the import of petroleum products over the next three years, plus four separate deals worth $800m that have been described as "priority development projects".

One of these, worth $200m, covers the improvement of electricity connections between the grids of Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Also, a $457m lease financing deal has been made in two separate tranches to fund the development of Shark El Sheikh airport, and a $198m lease financing deal has been agreed to fund the expansion of the country's Assiut refinery.

The project to connect the two grids will allow up to 3,000MW to be transferred between the two grids to take advantage of differing consumption peaks, while the airport project aims to increase its capacity to handle 18m passengers a year by 2025.

The refinery project will allow for a new facility to be added to refine high-octane fuels.

The deals were signed by Egypt's minister of international co-operation, Dr Naglaa El Ehwany and IDB's president Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali.

The money is being loaned to Egypt on 'concessional' terms with an interest rate of just 1.5% and a 20-year repayment period, including a grace period of 3-4 years.

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