Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli said that a wastewater treatment plant that he inaugurated in Bahr el Baqr earlier Monday in the presence of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is a source of pride.
The project was implemented by Egyptian engineers and workers under the supervision of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, said a proud Madbouli.
The Bahr el Baqr project is one of many projects that have been implemented over the past years with the aim to develop the Sinai Peninsula, the premier told the inauguration ceremony.
Sinai has always been in the heart of all Egyptians, Madbouli said, adding that it is not a normal geographical area. It is the gate to another continent, he noted.
In 2014, President Sisi directed to launch an integrated national project with the aim to protect and develop Sinai, Madbouli said, reminding of circumstances that faced the Peninsula in the wake of the June 30 Revolution.
Sinai was a scene of terrorist operations back then, the premier noted.
The Armed Forces and police were able to purge Sinai of terrorism as part of that integrated project, Madbouli said.
He added that an infrastructure network, the first ever in Sinai's history, has been established along with other big development ventures.
The huge national project in Sinai could very well be seen as a "constitution of urban development", Madbouli said.
Indeed, a 2052 urban development plan has in its heart the development of Sinai and the Suez Canal region, the PM added.
This plan clearly addresses the over-population problem across Egypt, giving priority to Sinai and the Suez Canal region, Madbouli said.
Sinai should be a place to start a new life outside the Egyptian Valley and Delta, using all its natural resources and riches.
Madbouli stressed the need to connect Sinai to the rest of Egypt. This connection is the real bridge of development that should be extended to the Peninsula, he noted.
Ending Sinai's isolation should go hand in hand with efforts to upgrade the infrastructure and basic services before development projects are actually implemented, Madbouli told the gathering.
If everything works according to plan, industrial and agricultural investments should then be pumped into Sinai, while tourism activation programs are implemented, he explained.
Madbouli put the value of investments in the completed and under-construction development projects in Sinai at over 700 billion pounds.
The premier said his government was most concerned with implementing investment projects in Sinai to help create jobs for youth.
He also touched upon efforts to create an investment-friendly climate on the Peninsula with the aim to attract industrial business.
Madbouli cited logistics and service zones that were established in the vicinity of the Ain Sokhna Port.
The government has spent billions of pounds to establish projects, such as the marble and granite complexes, brick factories and cement plants in Sinai, the prime minister further said.
He added that all gas and petroleum lines to the Peninsula have been upgraded and new energy projects have been launched in a bid to serve the economy.
The government was also keen on establishing investment service complexes in Sinai to encourage the private sector to do business on the Peninsula, Madbouli said.
He told the gathering that the production capacity of the newly inaugurated Bahr el Baqr wastewater plant is 5.6 million cubic meters daily, adding this would help reclaim 400,000 feddans.