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News Archive > General > Egyptian developer takes 75% share in eco towns

Egyptian developer takes 75% share in eco towns

By 16th September 2009

IMERYS has sold it's Cornish eco-town development to the Egyptians.
French-owned minerals company Imerys submitted a bid to the Government last year to build a 5,107-home eco-town across six different sites in the Clay Area. On July 16 this year, the Imerys bid was one of only four national eco-town proposals to gain Government approval.
It has now emerged that Egyptian company Orascom Development Holding AG will own a controlling share of the eco-town development. In what Imerys has described as a "joint venture" between themselves and Orascom, the Egyptian-based company will hold a majority stake of 75 per cent in the eco-town, while Imerys will retain the balance.
Commenting on the new "joint venture", Imerys’ UK Kaolin Operations Dire

ctor Ashley Shopland said: "Imerys will still retain a significant share. We want to play a major part in whatever happens. We are still involved with a lot of people here so we wanted to keep some degree of control.
"Property development isn't our business. One of the key objectives we have had all the way through this process is that nothing to do with the eco-town would compromise our ability to carry on as mining company. The eco-town has to fit with our main core business."
Mr Shopland said Imerys had opted to work with Orascom because the developer has "a proven track record".

He said: "We have spent a long time researching a number of different companies. We didn't want a raw property developer who would spread concrete everywhere, we wanted someone with more to them than that."  
Orascom Development is indeed an experienced developer with a proven track record, which consists of building luxury holiday towns. Headquartered in Switzerand, the company has developed four fully integrated towns in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates that include hotels, private villas and apartments, leisure facilities such as golf courses, marinas and supporting infrastructure.

When asked to describe Orascom Development’s eco-credentials, company chairman and CEO Samih Sawiris said: "We are already working on a similar project in Switzerland to end up having a village there that will be CO2 neutral."
Asked what stage the Swiss project was currently at, Mr Sawiris said yesterday: "Today we received our first building permit and we have been on site since the beginning of summer."
Mr Sawiris then went on to say that 96 per cent of the waste generated at the company's flagship El Gouna development is recycled, and that the company is planning to build a wind farm there.

Describing his hopes for the Cornwall eco-town project, Mr Sawiris outlined a plan for never-ending growth that could see the eco-town one day dominating the county.
Mr Sawiris said: "If you develop these towns in a way that's sustainable in terms of growth you can create everlasting jobs. It's in our interests to grow local entrepreneurs. In this project there is so much land that for the next 50 years families will know they can live and work there. If we do what we claim then this project will not end; it will keep attracting more people, houses, schools, commerce and retail. A project that ends is in my view a failure."

Asked to give a time-scale for the eco-town project, Mr Shopland said: "We hope to be submitting initial planning permission maybe as early as next year, maybe in 2011. We are not in a rush to get things wrong. The plans have to be consulted on and if things go well then in three years people should see something physical happening."
Mr Sawiris said: "As soon as we get the permit to start we will start experimenting with the construction of model houses and sample houses on site."

By 16th September 2009

Bert Biscoe 5th October 2009 21:08
Next stop the Universe!
Perhaps it is finally time that Bugle came out on strike!
Shall Trelawny live in a model home with golf course, or shall Trelawny die?
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