Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, H.E. Yasser ElKady, inaugurated the first phase of HitekNOFAL- Hengtong Optic, an optical fiber cables factory in Badr city, on 6 March, with joint Egyptian-Chinese investments, amounting to $30 million, within three years, between the Egyptian company HitekNOFAL and the Chinese Hengtong Group.
The opening ceremony was attended by a number of officials from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and the Minister Delegate at the Chinese Embassy in Cairo. The new factory is established on an area of 27 thousand m2 with a production capacity of more than eight thousand kilometers annually.
HitekNOFAL aims to cover the needs of the Egyptian market of fiber cables and plans to export to African markets by mid-2019, in parallel with the increasing production capacity of the factory. The factory's investment is about $30 million over the next three years, part of which is foreign direct investments, while the company plans to reach 80% local components in the cable manufacturing process by 2021.
Following the opening, ElKady said that Egypt attaches great importance to the electronics industry and that the trend towards designing and manufacturing electronics has become national, especially after President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi launched the presidential initiative for designing and manufacturing electronics in Egypt during Cairo ICT 2015.
He added that Egypt has the potential and capabilities to take its proper place in this industry, highlighting that qualified Egyptian calibers of young people are able to lead this industry. He also added that Egypt seeks through the implementation of this initiative to meet the needs of the domestic market and to export to Africa and the Middle East.
The government's strategic plan to develop Egypt's telecommunications infrastructure considers optical fiber cables the main pillar for providing faster Internet service and using different technology applications such as cloud computing, big data storage and transfer and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
Chairman of HitekNOFAL Solutions Mohamed Nofal said the company possesses over 30 years of experience in the field of telecommunication and cable solutions. The company developed technology infrastructures for a number of major projects in the Egyptian market and some neighboring countries, based on a broad base of technical staff.
He added that the company’s strategy aims to employ Egyptian technical calibers trained in the local manufacture of optical fiber cables in partnership with Hengtong Group to cover domestic demand and exports abroad, as well as create a new generation of technical manpower trained on manufacturing optical fiber cables and communications technology.
The President of Hengtong Group Qian Jianlin discussed the decision to partner and work with HitekNOFAL in establishing the factory. He said the Egyptian company is renowned for its extensive local and regional expertise in designing and developing fiber cables and providing full support to its customers. He added that the establishment of a new optical cable manufacturing factory in North Africa reflects the company’s global expansion plan, hailing Egypt's strategic position among regional markets.
He said that the company is seeking to make Egypt its main headquarters for its expansion plans in exporting its products to the Dark Continent in partnership with HitekNOFAL, especially since the African market is one of the fastest growing markets in the optical fiber cables worldwide.
The manufacturing phases at the factory include the provision of integrated solutions for the cable industry starting from the design of networks till the supply of optical fiber cables— manufactured locally— and its installation. The "Core", which is the most difficult part in the manufacturing process, responsible for the transfer of frequencies within the fiber cables, is planned to be manufactured locally.
The manufacture of this part of the cables is limited and is only carried out by a limited number of companies around the world and the company seeks to transfer this advanced technology to Egypt.
The factory will also manufacture the micro-trenching cables. It is a new cable technology that does not need road digging. It is implanted in an innovative way (Fiber Blowing). This type of cables is the latest optical fiber cable technology and leads the global trend in this industry. It is easy to pass underground and requires drilling of only 10 centimeters deep to pass through the pipes, thus save time and money of up to 30%.
HitekNOFAL provides technical services to several government agencies, including Telecom Egypt, Orange, Vodafone, Etisalat Egypt, a number of oil companies, private universities from the education sector and residential cities such as Madinaty and other major institutions and companies.