Saturday, March 14, 2015

#Germany #Siemens in $10.5bn deal to generate #power in #Egypt


joe Kaeser (R), chief executive of German industrial group Siemens, smiles during the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) in Sharm el-Sheikh, in the South Sinai governorate, south of Cairo, March 14, 2015

German industrial giant Siemens agreed to invest $10.5 billion ($10 billion euros) in Egypt on Saturday, with projects to build power plants that will boost the country's electricity generation capacity by up to a third.

The agreements were the largest single package of new deals signed at an international investment conference that Egypt hopes will spur its sagging economy after four years of unrest following a 2011 uprising.

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser told The Associated Press that the deals were signed Saturday after negotiations with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, "who drove a hard bargain."

"It will create 1,000 jobs and we're ready to start as soon as possible," he said. "We've been doing business here for over 110 years so we've seen crisis come and go... It's not about (us) coming and going."

He said the package included binding agreements worth about $4.6 billion ($4.4 billion euros). They include a new 4.4-gigawatt power plant in southern Egypt, a project to generate 2 gigawatts of wind power and a new wind rotor blade factory. The other agreements were memorandums of understanding to build other plants and substations over the coming five years.

Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, faces a power shortage causing rolling blackouts that affect tens of millions of people.

The conference, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, kicked off its second day with business leaders from around the world reaffirming their commitments, lauding the government's leadership and describing Egypt as an attractive investment location despite persistent small-scale attacks the government blames on Islamic militants.

General Electric and Italian petroleum company Eni were among several companies to also announce preliminary agreements. Egypt's oil ministry said in a statement that the Eni deal was worth an estimated $5 billion ($4.8 billion euros) and would develop oil and gas resources.