UAE to build Red Sea port in Sudan in $6 billion investment package

CAIRO, June 20 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates will build a new Red Sea port in Sudan, as part of a $6 billion investment package, said DAL group chairman Osama Daoud Abdellatif, a partner in the deal which marks the first major foreign investment since the military took power in an October coup.

Abdellatif said the package includes a free trade zone, a large agricultural project and an imminent $300 million deposit to Sudan’s central bank.

Western donors suspended billions in aid and investment to Sudan after the coup, plunging an economy that was already struggling into further turmoil and depriving the government of much needed foreign currency.

Ibrahim told Reuters on Wednesday that a memorandum of understanding had been signed with the UAE for a port and agricultural project, but the details have not previously been reported.

The finance ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on details of the deal.

The $4 billion port, a joint project between DAL group and Abu Dhabi Ports, owned by Abu Dhabi’s holding company ADQ, would be able to handle all kinds of commodities and compete with the country’s main national port, Port Sudan, Abdellatif said.

Located about 200 km (124 miles) north of Port Sudan, it would also include a free trade and industrial zone modelled after Dubai’s Jebel Ali, as well as a small international airport, he said. The project is in “advanced stages,” with studies and designs complete, he said.

Rumours of Gulf investments in Port Sudan, and in agricultural projects elsewhere in the country, have in the past stirred opposition and sometimes protests.

Port Sudan has long been plagued with infrastructure challenges and was shut by a political blockade for six weeks late last year, losing business from major international shippers.

The UAE deal also includes the $1.6 billion expansion and development of an agricultural project by Abu Dhabi conglomerate IHC and DAL Agriculture in the town of Abu Hamad in northern Sudan, Abdellatif said.

Alfalfa, wheat, cotton, sesame, and other crops would be grown and processed on the 400,000 acres of leased land, he said. A $450 million, 500 km (310 mile) toll road connecting the project to the port would be built as well, financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

Under the agreement, the Fund would also make a deposit of $300 million to the Central Bank of Sudan, Abdellatif said.

After the military ousted Omar al-Bashir in 2019, the UAE and Saudi Arabia pledged a combined $3 billion in grants and in-kind aid to Sudan, which military and civilian leaders say was not delivered in full.

Two high-level Sudanese government sources told Reuters the outlines of the new deal had been agreed between Sudanese leader General Abdelfattah al-Burhan and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed during a recent visit to the Gulf state.

A representative for Abu Dhabi Ports said the company had no comment, while representatives for ADQ, the Abu Dhabi Fund, IHC, and the Abu Dhabi and UAE governments did not immediately respond to requests.

“Ourselves and our partners in the UAE, we have already invested in a bank, a hotel, mining,” said Abdellatif, whose conglomerate has also bid for control of one of Sudan’s largest telecom companies, Zain Sudan.

“The UAE wants a stable Sudan so they can do more and more of these investments, but we are not waiting for everything to be perfect,” he added.

Sudan, UAE’s consortium sign $6-bln deal to build new port on Red Sea


December 13, 2022 (KHARTOUM)- The Sudanese government and a consortium of Emirati companies signed, on Tuesday, a preliminary agreement to develop and operate the Abu Amama port on the Red Sea, with investments amounting to $6 billion.

The Heads of Terms agreement, which provides the UAE consortium with the right to develop, manage, and operate Abu Amama Port port and economic zone assets, was signed by the Government of the Republic of Sudan and the UAE’s consortium of Abu Dhabi Ports Group and Invictus Investment Company PLC.

The deal was signed by Ibrahim Gibril Sudanese Minister of Finance and Osama Daoud Abdellatif, Invictus Chairman. The signing ceremony which took place at the Republican Palace was attended by Lt Gen Ibrahim Jabir a member of the Transitional Sovereignty Council.

“Under the terms of the agreement, the consortium will have the sole right to directly develop, manage, and operate specified port and economic zones assets and to create joint ventures, partnerships, or other business agreements to support the financing, development, construction, management, and operation of the projects,” reads a statement issued by the consortium.

The new port and the economic zone are located 200 km north of Port Sudan.

The deal includes an agricultural zone of 400,000 feddans (415,000 acres) in the Abu Hamad area of River Nile State. Also, a 450 km long road will link the zone with the new port on the Red Sea.

The Sudanese minister said that the port will be equipped with the latest modern technology, pointing out that the $6 billion project includes an industrial area, a tourist area, an international airport, a residential complex, internal roads and a power station,

He added that the project would contribute to solving the drought issue in Port Sudan and mining areas by delivering water from the Nile River.

The agreement includes the construction of a water pipeline that pumps about 2,000,000 cubic meters per day from the Nile River to the Red Sea State.

The military government, which reversed the civilian government in October 2021, is facing international pressure to hand over power to a civilian government. The international community paused economic support and development projects.

The UAE is part of a QUAD group led by the United States supporting the efforts of the tripartite facilitation mechanism to end the political crisis in Sudan triggered by the military coup.

I like how they have included Farming, Industrial and water projects.

If our 10 ten largest companies pooled each 20m (150m - 200m), and invest in food production and water-resources, we could become food self-sufficient in no time.

Shows you how important Sudan is with proven mineral reserves access to the Nile and not to mention geostrategic location.