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Orange to build data centre in Egypt’s new $58bn capital

New city will include, amongst others 1.7 million permanent jobs, 2,000 educational institutions, a 1Km-tall skyscraper named Oblisco Capitale, 21 residential districts and 90 sqkm of solar energy farms.

By João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

February 09, 2021 | 12:19 PM GMT

Orange Business Services has landed a much-desired contract by ICT operators in the Middle East to design and build a new data centre to provide cloud services for Egypt’s ‘New Administrative Capital’

The US$135 million project will be implemented in collaboration with Orange Egypt, who will supply the required infrastructure and services, following their appointment as the project’s prime contractor by Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD) – owner and developer of the New Administrative Capital.

The ACUD project has been designed as a smart sustainable city located 45 kilometres east of Cairo on a greenfield site, covering a total area of 725 square kilometres (270 square miles) mid-way to the seaport city of Suez. 

According to the plans, it will become the new administrative and financial capital of Egypt, housing the main government departments and ministries, as well as foreign embassies, with a population of around eight million people.

ACUD has defined a master plan for the smart sustainable city based on five main pillars: safety, connectivity, integration, digitalization, and replicability. 

The services offered by the Orange data centre are planned to start on schedule, in the first half of 2021, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company said.

Once implemented, Orange Egypt will also manage and operate the new data centre to host and run smart services for the private sector, as well as citizens of the new city, for five years. 

The smart city services to be supported include traffic management, management of smart utilities, such as electricity, water and gas supply, video surveillance and smart building services. Also included are innovative solutions, such as cloud-on-demand for companies and triple-play services for residents.

Sahem Azzam, vice president Middle East, Africa and Turkey for Orange Business Services, said: “Orange Business Services is especially pleased to be selected as the trusted digital partner to this visionary and transformational project. Cairo is not only one of the oldest and greatest cities of antiquity, but it is also the largest city in North Africa. 

“We have built extensive experience in the development of major smart city projects across the Middle East and especially in the GCC, through our smart city centre of excellence at our regional headquarters in Dubai. Orange has operated in Egypt for decades and our knowledge and understanding of the environment will allow us to fully adapt the design of the infrastructure to the needs of the new city.”

Hisham Marhan, Orange Egypt chief enterprise line of business officer, added: “In addition to investing in smart city projects, which Orange is distinguished with its expertise in the fields of digital solutions and smart cities provided by Orange Business Services, Orange also has provided many services to the smart city sector through various partnerships — the most prominent of which is the New Administrative Capital, where the new data centre is now being built. It is expected to be one of the largest centres in the Arab world and Africa, with investments of more than $135 million, and aims to enhance data and host all smart city platforms of the Administrative Capital in a secure and integrated way.

“What gave Orange the edge is the expertise, as well as the local and international teams it possesses that qualify it to provide these services with high efficiency, as well as to manage and operate these projects in accordance with international standards.”

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João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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